Republican Trump Ally Matt Gaetz Threatens Michael Cohen Before Public Testimony: 'Do Your Wife & Father-in-Law Know About Your Girlfriends?'

Ahead of Michael Cohen's public testimony before the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday, Republican Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida accused President Donald Trump's former attorney and "personal fixer" of having affairs with multiple women and threatened to release information about his alleged infidelities later this week.

In his testimony, set to begin on Wednesday at 10 a.m. ET, Cohen is expected to accuse Trump of criminal conduct while in office through his involvement in hush-money payments made to women who alleged affairs with him during the 2016 presidential campaign, according to Wall Street Journal.

"Hey @MichaelCohen212 - Do your wife & father-in-law know about your girlfriends?," Gaetz, a top Trump ally, tweeted today. "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..."

Shortly after his tweet went live, Gaetz denied that his statements amounted to "witness tampering" to Vox. "I'm witness testing. We still are allowed to test the veracity and character of witnesses, I think," he said, before suggesting that further information regarding his tweet will come to light in the coming days.

"Watch tomorrow," he said. "Fireworks."

Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti rebuked Gaetz's claims. "@mattgaetz is not 'testing' Cohen's memory. He is revealing embarrassing information about a witness on the eve of his testimony, and suggesting he could reveal more. That's witness intimidation, not 'testing,'" Mariotti tweeted.

Cohen was initially scheduled to testify voluntarily before the House Oversight Committee on February 7 to "give a full and credible account of events which have transpired," but his lawyer Lanny Davis postponed the appearance, citing "ongoing threats" to Cohen and his family from Trump and his attorney Rudy Giuliani.

"Due to ongoing threats against his family from President Trump and Mr. Giuliani, as recently as this weekend, as well as Mr. Cohen's continued cooperation with ongoing investigations, by advice of counsel, Mr. Cohen's appearance will be postponed to a later date," Davis announced in a statement in January. "Mr. Cohen wishes to thank Chairman [Elijah] Cummings for allowing him to appear before the House Oversight Committee and looks forward to testifying at the appropriate time."

House Oversight Committee Chair Elijah Cummings (D-MD) released a memo last week that revealed the scope and purpose of Cohen's hearing, which will include addressing Trump's business practices and his "debts and payments relating to efforts to influence the 2016 election."

In a statement sent to Newsweek on Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders accused Cohen of attempting to "spread his lies" at the upcoming hearing and asserted that he will go to "prison for lying to Congress."

"Disgraced felon Michael Cohen is going to prison for lying to Congress and making other false statements," she said.

"Sadly, he will go before Congress this week and we can expect more of the same.... It's laughable that anyone would take a convicted liar like Cohen at his word, and pathetic to see him given yet another opportunity to spread his lies."

Gaetz did not immediately respond to Newsweek's request for comment.

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Michael Cohen, former attorney and fixer for President Donald Trump, arrives at the Hart Senate Office Building before testifying to the Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill on February 26, 2019 in Washington, DC. On Tuesday, a day before Cohen is set to testify before the House Oversight Committee, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) threatened Trump's former attorney with information on an alleged affair. Getty/Mark Wilson
Republican Trump Ally Matt Gaetz Threatens Michael Cohen Before Public Testimony: 'Do Your Wife & Father-in-Law Know About Your Girlfriends?' | U.S.