Republican representative Matt Gaetz from Florida threatened Cohen ahead of his upcoming testimony. The threat, reading like something from a high school twitter spat, is already setting in motion what could be an acrimonious couple of days as former Trump spokesman and proclaimed "fixer" Michael Cohen takes the stand before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform.

Petty threat or witness intimidation?

Slate.com reported on the tweet, which Mr. Gaetz submitted on the public platform today from his personal account.

It was seen by many as a textbook example of witness intimidation, following in the footsteps of similar tactics via social media first demonstrated by President Donald Trump. In his tweet, Matt Gaetz wrote, "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."

Several prominent law experts responded with their own sharp retaliation by way of Twitter, amongst them professors Ryan Goodman and Laurence Tribe at New York University and Harvard University respectively.

Goodman's was appropriately snide. "Hey @mattgaetz, Does your personal attorney know you've just engaged, very clearly, in the crime of witness tampering? Maybe tonight would be a good time for that chat." Tribe's was more direct, to say the least. "@mattgaetz is a disgusting excuse for a human being," he wrote, adding, "He's also engaged in criminal witness tampering in plain sight. No immunity is available.

He deserves to be indicted, and of course, needs to be kicked out of Congress."

Gaetz has received few allies online since making the tweet, a notable exception being sitting congressman Matthew Louis Gaetz II. The latter stated he considered Gaetz' tweet provocative, but more in the line of what he deemed "witness testing" than witness tampering. Gaetz himself tweeted that in his defense he was merely "testing the veracity and character" of Cohen.

He added defiantly, "That is allowed."

Despite intimidation, Cohen presses on

Among the many topics covered in the testimony on Wednesday, arguably one of the most blush-inducing would be Cohen's description of providing hush money to adult star Stormy Daniels. While unable to speak about his role in the Special Counsel's investigation of the 2016 campaign, Cohen will also speak about specific aspects of the methodology used to silence her, which he claims in direct contradiction of the president, was initiated by Mr.

Trump.

Other topics of discussion will include the actual nature of the president's earnings, decades-spanning white collar crime, and use of racial epithets. The New York Times noted that Cohen stated that he looks forward to "letting the American people" decide "who is telling the truth."

Gaetz's threat to Mr. Cohen as he prepares to do so is hardly the first explosive response from the Republican, and particularly Trump loyalist, camps. Sarah Huckabee Sanders denounced the proceedings, calling it "laughable" that anyone would give a "convicted liar" like Cohen the floor of the House Committee.

The president himself has yet to comment, but has derided Cohen before ever since his indictment by the Special Counsel. A past hit from a tweet claimed that Cohen "makes up stories to get a great and already reduced deal" in court, while another compared him to Roger Stone, who President Trump praised as still "having guts."

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