Florida Bar Moves Forward With Gaetz Investigation

May 8, 2019

The Florida Bar investigation has been forwarded to a grievance committee.
Credit J. Scott Applewhite / AP

A Florida Bar investigation into Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) has been forwarded to a grievance committee.

A grievance committee serves as a grand jury, of sorts. Comprised of one-third non-lawyers, it’ll investigate the allegations and decide whether there is probable cause Gaetz violated Bar rules. Gaetz is licensed to practice law in Florida.

The Bar has determined the allegations warrant further investigation, and if true, would be a violation of its rules.

If the committee finds probable cause, it will be forwarded to the Board of Governors for review and could be passed to a judge.

The Bar opened the investigation in February based on a tweet targeting ex-President Trump lawyer Michael Cohen. Cohen was set to testify before the House Judiciary Committee the following day.

In the tweet, Gaetz asked Cohen if his wife and father-in-law knew about his “girlfriends.”

“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...”

- @mattgaetz

The tweet sparked backlash, including from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Some viewed it as witness tampering.

Gaetz has since deleted the message and apologized.

The Bar would not provide any other information.

Gaetz did not return a request for comment.