GOP Congressman Matt Gaetz Dismisses House Ethics Committee Investigation Into Him Over Cohen Threats: 'Double Standards'

GOP Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL) dismissed the House Ethics Committee's investigation into him over a threat he issued publicly to President Donald Trump's former attorney and personal fixer Michael Cohen before he testified to Congress earlier this year.

Gaetz threatened Cohen with details of an alleged affair on Twitter in February, a day prior to the ex-Trump attorney's testimony before the House Oversight Committee on special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation. Earlier today, the House Ethics Committee announced an investigation into Gaetz to determine whether he purposely tried to intimidate Cohen.

During his appearance on Fox News on Friday night, Gaetz told host Martha MacCallum that the investigation "highlights the double standards that exist with today's left" and accused Democrats of simply attempting to "get to the president through me."

"We've got members of Congress, Maxine Waters actually incite violence against Republicans and supporters of the president," Gaetz explained. "We have Rashida Tlaib, before the ink was even dry on her election certificate, using profanity to talk about how she's going to impeach the president."

"I'm not really worried about it at all," the congressman continued. "I'm worried about the 5,500 people that show up at our border every day, I worry about the fact that we haven't changed our asylum laws."

MacCallum then challenged Gaetz by noting that his tweet "garnered bipartisan criticism," before airing a clip of Republican Senator Rick Scott calling the congressman's tweet "disgusting" and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Cali.) referring to the incident as a "blatant effort to intimidate this witness."

"That's garbage," Gaetz said, before suggesting that there "may be a coordinated effort to go after people like me, people like Kellyanne Conway, who are effective advocates for a transformational president."

"I think that's really where this is going," he added. "Folks think they can get to the president through me because I work with the president a lot, talk to the president a lot."

In February, a day before Cohen was set to testify before Congress, Gaetz posted the following tweet: "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..."

Responding to critics, Gaetz defended the statement, calling it "witness testing, not witness tampering."

"And when witnesses come before Congress, their truthfulness and veracity are in question and we have the opportunity to test them," he said.

Gaetz later deleted the tweet after Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi declared that comments made by lawmakers "on social media or in the press can adversely affect the ability of the House Committees to obtain the truthful and complete information necessary to fulfill their duties."

Ethics Committee Chairman Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) and Republican Rep. Kenny Marchant (Texas) revealed that Gaetz had refused to appear before the panel for an interview in May to discuss the tweet. Gaetz was then given until June 24 to resolve the complaint against him before the panel would formally open an investigative subcommittee to deal with the matter.

In a statement on Friday, Gaetz doubled down on his refusal to cooperate. "If members of Congress want to spend their time psychoanalyzing my tweets, it's certainly their prerogative. I won't be joining them in the endeavor," the 37-year-old congressman said.

Matt Gaetz Dismisses Investigation
Florida Republican congressman Matt Gaetz on Friday dismissed the House Ethics Committee's investigation into him over his threats issued to Michael Cohen earlier this year, saying it highlights "double standards that exists with today's left." Fox News/Screenshot