Bar panel clears Gaetz after probe into tweet

The Florida Bar confirmed Thursday that its Grievance Committee found “no probable cause” that U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz violated rules when he sent out a tweet accusing Michael Cohen of infidelity as President Donald Trump’s former attorney prepared to testify before Congress.

Florida Bar spokeswoman Francine Walker said in an email that a letter of advice will be sent to Gaetz and made public likely on Friday. Gaetz said in a tweet Wednesday that he had been informed of the committee’s decision.

“They are taking no disciplinary action against me & are sending a letter of advice,” Gaetz tweeted. “I thank the Bar committee members for their sound judgment.”  

In February, Gaetz, a Northwest Florida Republican, accused Cohen, who is married, of having “girlfriends” on the eve of giving testimony to Congress.

"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 ...” Gaetz said in the tweet.

Gaetz later removed the tweet and issued an apology. Democrats and other critics accused Gaetz, a major Trump supporter, of engaging in witness tampering. The Florida Bar has said it investigates potential conduct violations any time words of a Florida lawyer result in complaints.

Gaetz was admitted to the Bar in 2008 after attending law school at the College of William & Mary in Virginia, according to information on the Bar website. He has not faced any discipline from the Bar during the past 10 years.

Gaetz was elected to the Florida House in 2010 before winning an open seat in 2016 in Congressional District 1, a conservative stronghold in the western Panhandle.