On Tuesday, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) tweeted a rather cryptic message to Mr. Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen. He wrote:
‘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…’
In response, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) called for the Ethics Committee to “vigilantly monitor” statements on social media. Pelosi issued a statement saying:
‘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.’
Gaetz’s tweet comes a day before Michael Cohen is scheduled to speak before the House Oversight and Reform Committee. He is expected to testify that Trump has a history of making racist comments and inflating or deflating his net worth for business purposes such as avoiding taxes.
According to The Daily Beast:
‘Cohen’s relationship with Trump goes back more than a decade, but reached a turning point when Cohen pleaded guilty in August to violating campaign-finance laws (among other crimes), and again in November to lying to Congress.’
Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison, and said at his sentencing:
‘I have been living in a personal and mental incarceration ever since the fateful day that I accepted the offer to work for a famous real estate mogul whose business acumen I truly admired.’
Gaetz has been accused by some of trying to intimidate Cohen before his testimony. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) called for the House Ethics Committee to launch an investigation into the “grossly unethical and probably illegal” tweet.
Gaetz dismissed the accusations of witness tampering, saying that he was “witness testing.” He told reporters:
‘We’re 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.’
Cohen is expected to provide members of the Oversight panel with evidence that Trump played a part in criminal actions. According to NBC News:
‘Cohen will also give lawmakers information about Trump’s financial statements and might actually provide the statements, the source said. This information would require the president’s long-held secret tax returns in order to verify, providing an avenue for the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to request those returns.’
Cohen is also expected to address his motives for lying on behalf of Trump, and why he lied to Congress about the Trump Tower Moscow negotiations, which is one of the charges to which he pleaded guilty late last year.
The hush-money payments to Stormy Daniels will be at the forefront of Cohen’s testimony as well.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement:
‘Disgraced felon Michael Cohen is going to prison for lying to Congress and making other false statements. 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.’
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