FILE - In this June 10, 2019 file photo, Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., questions former White House counsel for the Nixon Administration John Dean during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the Mueller Report on Capitol Hill in Washington. The House Ethics Committee is investigating whether Gaetz tried intimidating Michael Cohen before the former personal lawyer to President Donald Trump testified to Congress about Trump. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Ethics panel examining if lawmaker threatened Trump lawyer

June 28, 2019 - 11:57 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House Ethics Committee is investigating whether a Florida congressman tried to intimidate Michael Cohen before the former personal lawyer to President Donald Trump testified to Congress about Trump.

Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz is a two-term lawmaker who has been one of Trump's most outspoken defenders.

Cohen testified to a House committee in February that Trump had known WikiLeaks had obtained damaging emails about his 2016 presidential rival, Hillary Clinton. The day before that appearance, Gaetz asked Cohen in a tweet if "wife and father-in-law know about your girlfriends?"

Gaetz later apologized for the tweet.

A brief statement Friday by the committee did not mention the tweet. It says Gaetz refused its requests to testify about the charges, so it is forming a bipartisan subcommittee to investigate.