Dem lawmaker calls for investigation into Gaetz’s tweet before Cohen testimony

Rep. Bill PascrellWilliam (Bill) James PascrellMultiple N.J. homes for veterans see dozens of coronavirus-related deaths Washington Post fact-checks Kimmel on edited Pence video: 'Certainly a phony tale' NY, NJ lawmakers call for more aid to help fight coronavirus MORE (D-N.J.) called for the House Ethics Committee to investigate his Republican colleague Rep. Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzImpeachment figure among those chosen for Facebook's new oversight board House GOP urge Trump against supporting additional funding for state and local governments GOP lawmakers press Trump to suspend visas over coronavirus job losses MORE (Fla.) for trying to intimidate a witness on Twitter after directing a tweet at Michael Cohen on the eve of his public testimony.

“One of my colleagues, a duly elected member of Congress, has taken to twitter to intimidate a witness. This is grossly unethical and probably illegal (18 USC § 1512(b))," Pascrell wrote, citing the U.S. code on witness tampering. 

“House Ethics must investigate this disgrace and stain on our institution,” Pascrell added.

Pascrell’s criticism comes after Gaetz, one of the president’s most loyal supporters in Congress, tweeted at Cohen accusing him of having affairs.


“Hey @MichaelCohen212 - Do your wife & father-in-law know about your girlfriends?” Gaetz tweeted. “Maybe tonight would be a good time for that chat. I wonder if she’ll remain faithful when you’re in prison. She’s about to learn a lot...”

Cohen on Tuesday spoke privately with the Senate Intelligence Committee ahead of his public testimony on Wednesday.

The president’s former attorney and "fixer" will reportedly testify that President TrumpDonald John TrumpJustice says it will recommend Trump veto FISA bill Fauci: Nominating conventions may be able to go on as planned Poll: Biden leads Trump by 11 points nationally MORE has a history of making racist comments and inflating or delating his net worth for business purposes such as avoiding taxes. 

His testimony comes before he is set to serve three years in prison after he pleaded guilty to campaign finance law violations, bank fraud, tax fraud and lying to Congress about the timing of negotiations for a Trump Tower in Moscow. 

Gaetz insisted that he was not engaging in witness intimidation, telling the Daily Beast that he was "challenging the veracity and character of a witness.” 

“This is what it looks like to compete in the marketplace of ideas,” the Florida Republican said. 

Gaetz did not say whether or not he had evidence for his claims about Cohen.

He told the outlet that him questioning Cohen’s marriage was a fair topic ahead of his time in prison. 

“If you think I have the power to determined when people leave their spouses you attribute far too much credit to me,” he told the reporter. “I just merely pondered the question, Sam.”  

The Hill has reached out to Gaetz's office for further comment.