TALLHASSEE, Fla. (NSF) - A Florida Bar investigation will continue into U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, who sent a tweet accusing Michael Cohen of infidelity as President Donald Trump’s former attorney prepared to testify before Congress in February.
“The case is now being investigated by a grievance committee, but no other information is available other than the status at this time,” The Florida Bar said in a statement Wednesday that outlined the grievance review process.
The chair of the grievance committee will appoint an investigating member who, after interviewing witnesses and reviewing evidence, will make a recommendation about potential violations of Bar rules.
The investigation could take three to six months. The committee could then drop the matter, declare minor misconduct, or, if probable cause is found warranting discipline, submit a formal complaint to the Florida Supreme Court. Gaetz, who has become a confidant of Trump, released a statement Wednesday simply indicating the ongoing review isn’t impacting his work in Congress.
“I’m very confident that the Florida Bar won’t impair my vigorous representation of my district,” Gaetz said.
In February, Gaetz, a Northwest Florida Republican, accused Cohen, who is married, of having “girlfriends” on the eve of giving testimony to Congress. "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...” Gaetz said in the tweet.
Gaetz later removed the tweet and issued an apology. Democrats and other critics accused Gaetz of engaging in witness tampering. The Florida Bar said it investigates potential conduct violations any time words of a Florida lawyer result in complaints.
Gaetz was admitted to the Bar in 2008 after attending law school at the College of William & Mary in Virginia, according to information on the Bar website. He has not faced any discipline from the Bar during the past 10 years.
Gaetz was elected to the Florida House in 2010 before winning an open seat in 2016 in Congressional District 1, a conservative stronghold.