The bad news is that, with Cohen on the Hill to testify this week, the below tweet might amount to witness tampering. An especially gross kind, too. In full view of the entire world.
By a sitting congressman.
The good news is that the odds that this guy will be a strong contender for the 2024 nomination of this degenerating party only continue to grow.
Two free bits of advice, take ’em or leave ’em. One: If you’re an ally of the president’s and don’t want people looking at him like he’s a crime boss, don’t act like a crime boss’s flunky. Two: If you’re losing a dignity contest to Michael Cohen, rethink your life choices.
Whoever corruptly, or by threats or force, or by any threatening letter or communication influences, obstructs, or impedes or endeavors to influence, obstruct, or impede the due and proper administration of the law under which any pending proceeding is being had before any department or agency of the United States, or the due and proper exercise of the power of inquiry under which any inquiry or investigation is being had by either House, or any committee of either House or any joint committee of the Congress—
Shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years or, if the offense involves international or domestic terrorism (as defined in section 2331), imprisoned not more than 8 years, or both.
If Gaetz starts serving his sentence this year he’ll be out before Election Day 2024, just in time to accept the nomination.
A Vox reporter saw him in the Capitol and asked him if he was serious. He is, it seems:
My short text convo with @mattgaetz just now:
Me: Congressman, Any chance you have a few minutes to discuss what you implied with your tweet to Michael Cohen? Perhaps a preview?
Gaetz: Watch tomorrow.
Me: Will do — anything I should be prepared for?
Gaetz: Fireworks https://t.co/g1bwYcjvrg
— Alex Ward (@AlexWardVox) February 26, 2019
Imagine how badly you need to screw up to make a sleazebag like Michael Cohen seem sympathetic. There’s no shortage of evidence that can be mentioned at his hearing to impeach his credibility; he was disbarred just a few hours ago, for cripes sake, for having lied under oath previously. There’s zero need to bring up his sex life, unless you’re a toady eager to ingratiate yourself to the president by wounding Cohen in a way that cuts deeper than calling him a known perjurer.
Speaking of which: How did Gaetz obtain this alleged evidence of Cohen’s philandering? That’s the sort of dirt that someone who knows Cohen well, as the president does, or someone skilled at digging up dirt, as the president’s friends at AMI are, might have. Did it come up during any of Gaetz’s phone calls with Trump, perchance? Did Trump ever suggest that he threaten Cohen publicly to make him reconsider his willingness to testify?
It’s not like the president’s above a little light witness tampering here, after all.
This is what happens when a political party becomes a personality cult, with loyalists encouraged to settle the leader’s personal scores. Speaking of which, here’s what the official RNC account was up to today. For the GOP in 2019, Cohen’s great sin was being not quite enough of a lifelong stooge for Trump.
For years, Michael Cohen praised @realDonaldTrump’s honesty and integrity.
It was only after Cohen was caught for tax evasion and other personal financial misdeeds, he began lying about President Trump in an effort to save face. pic.twitter.com/AQnxxk7yBF
— GOP (@GOP) February 26, 2019
Update (2/27): Gaetz deleted his tweet a day later. I’ve replaced it with the screenshot above.