House Ethics Committee Unanimously Rebukes Rep. Gaetz Over Misconduct
Reprinted with permission from Alternet
The House Committee on Ethics announced in a report released Friday it had voted unanimously to admonish U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, Republican of Florida, over a tweet he sent which some saw as an attempt to intimidate a witness ahead of his testimony before Congress.
The Ethics Committee reviewed "allegations that Representative Gaetz sought to threaten, intimidate, harass, or otherwise improperly influence the President's former attorney, Michael Cohen, in connection with Mr. Cohen's testimony before a congressional committee."
Rep. Gaetz, a hard-core conservative who last week announced he was "proud" to endorse a QAnon-believing GOP House candidate, in 2019 had tweeted:
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 "expressed remorse" and deleted the tweet after public recrimination.
An Investigative Subcommittee (ISC) found Gaetz's actions "did not reflect creditably upon the House of Representatives, in violation of House Rule XXIII, clause 1 of the Code of Official Conduct." But it also found Gaetz "did not violate witness tampering and obstruction of Congress laws."
The ISC "noted that a grievance committee of the Florida Bar found Representative Gaetz's tweet to be 'unprofessional, reckless, insensitive, and [that it] demonstrated poor judgment.'" The Bar's "grievance committee concluded that" Rep. Gaetz's "conduct in this instance did not warrant formal discipline," but "was not consistent with the high standards of [its] profession," and that Gaetz's "actions do not reflect favorably" on him "as a member of The Florida Bar."
The 38-year old Republican lawmaker is a Trump-loving, headline-grabbing, conspiracy theorist who has ties to the alt-right.
Last month, apparently in violation of House rules, it was revealed that Gaetz paid $28,000 to a speechwriter who worked for Senior Advisor to the President Stephen Miller and was reportedly fired by the White House after he attended a white nationalist conference.
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