TALLAHASSEE — A Florida Bar disciplinary investigation into a February post on Twitter by U.S. Rep Matt Gaetz will continue.

According to a Wednesday statement from Bar officials, the issue has been forwarded to a grievance committee for further review and possible action.

Gaetz, whose district covers Northwest Florida, sent the tweet Feb. 26, hours before former President Donald Trump attorney and fixer Michael Cohen's Feb. 27 testimony in front of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform.

In the tweet, widely seen as a possible attempt to intimidate Cohen, Gaetz wrote, "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 ... "

In the face of criticism that the tweet might be seen as witness tampering, Gaetz deleted it. He followed the deletion with an apology, posting on Twitter, "It was NOT my intent to threaten, as some believe I did. I’m deleting the tweet & I should have chosen words that better showed my intent. I’m sorry."

Florida Bar Director of Communications Francine Walker announced Feb. 27 that the Bar had opened an investigation, but she did not provide any details on exactly who or what sparked the probe.

"The Florida Bar is aware of the comments made in a tweet ... by Rep. Matt Gaetz, who is a Florida Bar member, and I can confirm we have opened an investigation,” Walker wrote in a Feb. 27 email. Walker added then that the bar’s confidentiality rules “do not permit me to provide any other information at this time.”

Walker issued a statement Wednesday confirming that the case was continuing, but providing no other information about the specifics.

"The case is now being investigated by a Florida Bar grievance committee, but no other information is available other than the status at this time," Walker wrote.

However, Walker did, provide some information on the grievance committee process, which routinely can last from three to six months.

According to Walker, cases go to a grievance committee after Florida Bar counsel determines that allegations warrant further proceedings. The committee comprises community volunteers, at least one-third of whom are not lawyers, within the state judicial district in which the lawyer is based.

The grievance committee chairperson assigns the case to a committee member who serves as the investigating member. After interviewing witnesses and reviewing evidence, the investigating member makes a recommendation to the grievance committee.

"Like a grand jury, the grievance committee decides whether there is probable cause to believe a lawyer violated the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar and whether discipline is warranted," Wednesday's statement noted.

The grievance committee can find that there is no probable cause to believe a violation occurred or can find no probable cause while also issuing a letter of advice to the attorney. In either instance, the case ends with no discipline.

Beyond that, the grievance committee can recommend mediation or arbitration of a fee dispute, issue a finding of minor misconduct or recommend diversion to a practice and professionalism enhancement program.

If the grievance committee determines there is probable cause to believe discipline is warranted, Florida Bar counsel files a formal complaint against the lawyer with the Supreme Court of Florida.

"Most lawyer discipline cases are settled without a trial," Walker noted in the Wednesday email. "However, the lawyer may contest the complaint. If that happens, the case moves to the trial phase."

Gaetz did not immediately respond Wednesday to a phone call and text message seeking comment on the ongoing Florida Bar probe. But in an early Thursday morning text message, Gaetz noted that he had been on Air Force One with President Trump on his Wednesday flight for a campaign rally in Panama City.

On the flight, Gaetz said, he had worked to obtain additional federal government funding for Hurricane Michael recovery efforts. The October hurricane, a Category 5 storm, devastated the eastern Florida panhandle, devastating Tyndall Air Force Base.

At the rally, Trump announced a 90 percent/10 percent split in relief funding, meaning the federal government reimbursing local municipalities and school districts for 90 percent of debris removal and hurricane recovery expenses. That would leave the local entities to cover 5 percent of the cost, with the state picking up the remaining 5 percent.

The current split is 75 percent/25 percent, and in the immediate aftermath of the hurricane, President Trump signed an order covering 100 percent of debris removal costs for the first 45 days after the hurricane.

Also at Wednesday's rally, the president announced his administration would give the state $448 million in federal Department of Housing and Urban Development funding.

"Was on AF1 w/ Potus securing a 90 percent federal cost share for Hurricane Michael recovery," Gaetz wrote in his early-morning text message responding to a question on the Florida Bar probe. "That was more important to me yesterday than the FL Bar. Doing my job."