The House Ethics Committee said Friday it has created a subcommittee to investigate Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz over accusations that he threatened and intimidated former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen ahead of a committee hearing in February.
The committee said it tried to give Mr. Gaetz a chance to explain himself, but he rebuffed overtures, so it had to create the panel to conduct an investigation.
The investigative committee will be chaired by Democratic Rep. Anthony Brown, while Rep. Michael Guest will serve as the ranking Republican.
Establishing a investigative subcommittee does not mean necessarily mean Mr. Gaetz violated House ethics, the panel said.
A lawmaker complained to the committee after the February hearing with Cohen, President Trump’s former personal 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…” Mr. Gaetz wrote at the time.
The post also prompted an investigation from The Florida Bar.
The lawmaker later apologized online and said he never intended to threaten Mr. Cohen.
I’ve personally apologized to @MichaelCohen212 4 referencing his private family in the public square. Regardless of disagreements, family members should be off-limits from attacks from representatives, senators & presidents, including myself. Let’s leave the Cohen family alone.— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) February 28, 2019
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