Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) turned to Fox News star Sean Hannity last year for advice after his apparent threat to former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen. Ahead of Cohen’s House testimony in February 2019, the pro-Trump congressman threatened to release humiliating information about the former fixer’s alleged infidelity, prompting probes into Gaetz’s actions by both the U.S. House and The Florida Bar.
The House Ethics Committee investigation into Gaetz found a text message exchange between Gaetz and Hannity—who was infamously a secret client of Cohen’s. Gaetz, a frequent guest on Hannity’s Fox show, asked the Trump confidant how long he should “lay low” after Hannity told him to “run this shit by me!!!” Telling the Florida lawmaker it was “smart” to delete the tweet, Hannity added that he should reach out to Cohen or Cohen’s lawyer directly.
“Just say you were upset at what was transpiring and meant it as a question, not a statement. And u would never threaten anyone. In retrospect it was poorly written and you wish u didn’t send it. That’s a CYA,” Hannity said. The Fox star then provided Cohen’s contact information to Gaetz, advising the congressman to have him review the apology first before sending to Cohen. After sending the apology to Cohen, who apparently asked Gaetz to make it public, the lawmaker told Hannity it “felt good,” prompting the Fox host to respond: “You are amazing. Thank you.”
The House panel eventually decided to essentially give Gaetz a slap on the wrist by formally admonishing him over the fiasco.