One of Donald Trump‘s favorite members of Congress, Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, may have just committed a crime by threatening Michael Cohen a day before his public testimony.
In a tweet that mentions Cohen’s wife and father-in-law, Gaetz claims – without evidence, of course – that the former Trump lawyer has “girlfriends” and that “tonight would be a good time” to share that information with his family.
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…
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) February 26, 2019
Gaetz has responded to the immediate backlash by saying he is simply “testing” Cohen ahead of Wednesday’s public testimony, but as Aaron Blake of The Washington Post noted a short time ago, his argument doesn’t hold any water.
“[T]his tweet wasn’t just Gaetz making an allegation about Cohen’s character,” Blake wrote. “What’s the most problematic is the second part, where he alludes to the possibility that Cohen’s wife will cheat on him while he’s in prison.”
In other words, it’s a clear effort to bully Cohen the day before he testifies before the House Oversight Committee.
‘Pathetic display of gangsterism’
It’s not just Democrats who are stunned by Rep. Gaetz’s mob-style bullying of Michael Cohen on Tuesday.
In an appearance on MSNBC, former RNC chairman Michael Steele tore into the congressman, calling his threats on Cohen a “pathetic display of gangsterism.”
“I can’t even refer to him as a congressman in that regard because that’s the kind of behavior that a congressman should not display the evening before a very important testimony,” Steele said.
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) February 27, 2019
Of course, it should come as no surprise that the party of Donald Trump has adopted the mob boss tactics of their leader. The president himself has issued similar threats toward Cohen in the past.
This behavior by Trump and his allies in Congress doesn’t demonstrate strength. Instead, it’s just more evidence that the president and his loyalists are terrified of the truth coming out.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.