Pelosi: Ethics panel should ‘vigilantly monitor’ social media after GOP lawmaker’s Cohen tweet

Pelosi: Ethics panel should ‘vigilantly monitor’ social media after GOP lawmaker’s Cohen tweet
© Greg Nash

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump takes 2020 roadshow to New Mexico This week: House jump-starts effort to prevent shutdown Schumer, Pelosi push Trump to back universal background check bill MORE (D-Calif.) on Tuesday called for the House Ethics Committee to “vigilantly monitor” members’ statements on social media after Rep. Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzState probes of Google, Facebook to test century-old antitrust laws Five takeaways on Trump's ouster of John Bolton GOP lawmakers, states back gunmaker in Sandy Hook appeal MORE (R-Fla.) tweeted about Michael Cohen.

“I encourage all Members to be mindful that comments made on social media or in the press can adversely affect the ability of House Committees to obtain the truthful and complete information necessary to fulfill their duties,” Pelosi said in a statement. 

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The Ethics Committee should monitor statements “which may not be protected by the speech or debate clause,” Pelosi said, without naming any lawmaker.

Her statement linked back to her Feb. 20 tweet announcing that Cohen would testify despite his claims that President Trump was trying to intimidate him

The Speaker’s comments came shortly after Gaetz, a Trump loyalist who sits on the House Judiciary Committee, tweeted about the president’s former lawyer.

“Hey @MichaelCohen212 - Do your wife & father-in-law know about your girlfriends? 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…” Gaetz wrote.

The Florida Republican’s tweet came the day before Cohen’s scheduled testimony before the House Oversight and Reform Committee.

The president’s former attorney and "fixer" will reportedly testify that Trump has a history of making racist comments and inflating or deflating his net worth for business purposes such as avoiding taxes. 

Gaetz was accused by some of trying to intimidate Cohen before his testimony.

Rep. Bill PascrellWilliam (Bill) James PascrellOn The Money: Senate panel scraps vote on key spending bill amid standoff | Democrats threaten to vote against defense bill over wall funding | Trump set to meet with aides about reducing capital gains taxes GOP lawmaker calls for investigation into CNN spy story Ocasio-Cortez renews impeachment call amid probe involving Trump's Scotland property MORE (D-N.J.) called for the House Ethics Committee to launch an investigation into the “grossly unethical and probably illegal” tweet.

Gaetz, however, dismissed accusations of witness tampering by saying he was “witness testing.”

"And when witnesses come before Congress their truthfulness and veracity are in question and we have the opportunity to test them,” Gaetz told reporters just hours after sending the tweet.

He added that people would have to "tune in tomorrow to find out" if he has any insight regarding Cohen's alleged extramarital relationships. 

Cohen’s lawyer Lanny Davis, who is also a contributor to The Hill, responded by condemning Gaetz for the "despicable lies and personal smears."

"We trust that his colleagues in the House, both Republicans and Democrats, will repudiate his words and his conduct," he said in a statement.