'Any Efforts to Intimidate ... Will Not Be Tolerated' House Speaker Said Just Last Week
Speaker Nancy Pelosi did not wait long to respond to a Republican Congressman's remarks threatening Michael Cohen, President Trump's former personal attorney. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) posted to Twitter what some experts say was a threat, witness tampering, or an attempt to obstruct justice or impede an investigation.
"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," Speaker Pelosi said via Twitter Tuesday evening. She linked to a warning she had posted less than a week earlier.
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. https://t.co/NDnxkaiFCA pic.twitter.com/DIIgSHgeb5
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) February 26, 2019
The Speaker appeared to suggest that Congressman Gaetz was in violation of House ethics rules, and went one step further, possibly implying he could be subject to prosecution.
Last week Speaker Pelosi took to Twitter to specifically warn Members of Congress about efforts to silence Michael Cohen, before his House Oversight and Intelligence Committees testimony.
"Congress has an independent duty under the Constitution to conduct oversight of the Executive Branch, and any efforts to intimidate family members or pressure witnesses will not be tolerated," the Speaker wrote.
Michael Cohen will come before the @OversightDems & @HouseIntel Committees next week. Congress has an independent duty under the Constitution to conduct oversight of the Executive Branch, and any efforts to intimidate family members or pressure witnesses will not be tolerated. https://t.co/VDc6zE6lwH
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) February 21, 2019
UPDATE I: Gaetz deleted his tweet and apologized hours later. This is what the tweet said: "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…"
Here's what some experts have said regarding Rep. Gaetz's threatening remarks.
Former Special Counsel to the Dept. of Defense:
— Ryan Goodman (@rgoodlaw) February 26, 2019
Former Director of the Office of Gov. Ethics:
A tweet in which a sitting member of Congress tries his hand at witness intimidation: https://t.co/tSdtKvgDjb
— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) February 26, 2019
Former GOP Congressman:
A new low in an age of low, and possibly a crime by a sitting Congressman. https://t.co/a3QdE3ibWS
— David Jolly (@DavidJollyFL) February 26, 2019
Professor at the University of Texas Law School:
— Steve Vladeck (@steve_vladeck) February 26, 2019
This loathsome. It deserves the censure of his colleagues, and perhaps of the House itself, as attempted intimidation of a witness testifying before a House committee. More important, though: What does this say about the degree of panic among Trump allies about Cohen’s testimony? https://t.co/q4oVxzWYuk
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) February 26, 2019
Could this be construed as witness tampering? https://t.co/LghTXuWxq3
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) February 26, 2019
Dear Representative @mattgaetz .... are you represented by federal criminal defense counsel? Let me tell you why I ask.
— WitnessTestingHat (@Popehat) February 26, 2019
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