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Speaker Nancy Pelosi did not wait long to respond to a Republican Congressman’s remarks threatening Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former personal attorney. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) posted to Twitter what some experts say was a threat, witness tampering, or an attempt to obstruct justice or impede an investigation.

“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,” Speaker Pelosi said via Twitter Tuesday evening. She linked to a warning she had posted less than a week earlier.

View image on Twitter

Nancy Pelosi

@SpeakerPelosi

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. https://goo.gl/jVGQD6 

7,302 people are talking about this

The Speaker appeared to suggest that Congressman Gaetz was in violation of House ethics rules, and went one step further, possibly implying he could be subject to prosecution.

Last week Speaker Pelosi took to Twitter to specifically warn Members of Congress about efforts to silence Michael Cohen, before his House Oversight and Intelligence Committees testimony.

“Congress has an independent duty under the Constitution to conduct oversight of the Executive Branch, and any efforts to intimidate family members or pressure witnesses will not be tolerated,” the Speaker wrote.

Nancy Pelosi

@SpeakerPelosi

Michael Cohen will come before the @OversightDems & @HouseIntel Committees next week. Congress has an independent duty under the Constitution to conduct oversight of the Executive Branch, and any efforts to intimidate family members or pressure witnesses will not be tolerated.

Oversight Committee

@OversightDems

BREAKING NEWS: Chairman @RepCummings announces the rescheduling of Michael Cohen’s public testimony for next week, despite efforts by some to intimidate his family members and prevent him from appearing before the Committee. https://oversight.house.gov/news/press-releases/committee-announces-rescheduling-of-michael-cohen-s-public-testimony 

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Congressman Gaetz is one of President Trump’s top defenders in Congress. He is also anti-LGBT, racist, a supporter of the alt-right, and a conspiracy theorist.

Here’s what some experts have said regarding Rep. Gaetz’s threatening remarks.

Former Special Counsel to the Dept. of Defense:

Ryan Goodman

@rgoodlaw

Hey @mattgaetz – Does your personal attorney know you’ve just engaged, very clearly, in the crime of witness tampering? Maybe tonight would be a good time for that chat.

Matt Gaetz

@mattgaetz

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…

611 people are talking about this

Former Director of the Office of Gov. Ethics:

Walter Shaub

@waltshaub

A tweet in which a sitting member of Congress tries his hand at witness intimidation:

Matt Gaetz

@mattgaetz

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…

7,858 people are talking about this

Former GOP Congressman:

David Jolly

@DavidJollyFL

A new low in an age of low, and possibly a crime by a sitting Congressman.

Matt Gaetz

@mattgaetz

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…

4,381 people are talking about this

Professor at the University of Texas Law School:

Steve Vladeck

@steve_vladeck

Hey @mattgaetz:

Do you know about 18 U.S.C. § 1512(b), which prohibits tampering with witnesses to official proceedings?:https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1512 

Matt Gaetz

@mattgaetz

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…

338 people are talking about this

More:

Bill Kristol

@BillKristol

This loathsome. It deserves the censure of his colleagues, and perhaps of the House itself, as attempted intimidation of a witness testifying before a House committee. More important, though: What does this say about the degree of panic among Trump allies about Cohen’s testimony?

Matt Gaetz

@mattgaetz

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…

3,258 people are talking about this

Kyle Griffin

@kylegriffin1

Could this be construed as witness tampering?

Matt Gaetz

@mattgaetz

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…

2,127 people are talking about this

WitnessTestingHat@Popehat

Dear Representative @mattgaetz …. are you represented by federal criminal defense counsel? Let me tell you why I ask.

/1https://twitter.com/mattgaetz/status/1100503846386835456 

Matt Gaetz

@mattgaetz

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…

3,763 people are talking about this

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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

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