The ethics panel opens an investigation into the GOP’s Madison Cawthorn

WASHINGTON – The House Ethics Committee is investigating allegations that Republican Rep. Madison Cawthorn had a conflict of interest in a cryptocurrency he promoted and was involved in an improper relationship with a member of his staff, the panel said Monday.

The investigation is only the last moment the top-class examination for the Republican from North Carolina, who will leave Congress late the following year losing his primary race last week to Senator Chuck Edwards. Cawthorn’s defeat came despite former President Donald Trump’s support of his reelection bid.

Rep. Veronica Escobar, a Democrat from Texas, and Rep. Michael Guest, a Republican from Mississippi, will lead Cawthorn’s review. The panel warned that the opening of the inquiry did not mean he broke house rules.

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In a statement, Congressman Chief of Staff Blake Harp said they “welcome the opportunity to prove that Congressman Cawthorn committed no wrongdoing and that he was falsely accused of political advantage by partisan opponents.”

The allegations of a potential conflict of interest come from an April article in the Washington Examiner reported that Cawthorn may have violated federal insider trading laws when he promoted the meme coin LGB, named after the chant “Let’s Go Brandon” mocking President Joe Biden.

Cawthorn promoted the LGB coin in a Dec. 29 Instagram post in which he was pictured with the cryptocurrency hedge fund manager. The next day, NASCAR driver Brandon Brown announced a deal with the coin, raising questions about whether Cawthorn had advanced non-public knowledge of the announcement, according to the Examiner.

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The committee gave no further details on Cawthorn’s alleged “inappropriate relationship.”

The 26-year-old lawmaker’s political career has been turned upside down by a series of lewd headlines that contributed to his downfall in last week’s primary. He has been stopped by police three times since October – twice for speeding and once for driving with a suspended license. He has been caught with guns at airport security twice in the past year, including three weeks ago. And in March, as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine deepened, Cawthorn called Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy a “thug,” even as many of his GOP colleagues pledged their support to the Ukrainian government.

Shortly thereafter, Cawthorn infuriated his GOP peers even more when he claimed on a podcast that he had been invited to an orgy in Washington and had seen leaders of the movement to end drug addiction using cocaine. Republican leader of the House of Representatives Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., publicly rebuked him for the comments.

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In the last few weeks of Cawthorn’s main campaign, videos emerged showing him in sexually suggestive poses that he said were made several years ago and were supposed to be funny.

Cawthorn has acknowledged the speeding and gun citations as oversights but dismissed the videos as part of a “drip campaign” by his political enemies, which he includes some mainstream Republicans, to evict him from Congress.

“My mission now is to expose those who say and promise one thing, but legislate and work toward another, self-profit, globalist goal,” Cawthorn said in a social media post after losing his elementary school last week had. “It’s time for the rise of the new right, it’s time for Dark MAGA to really take command.”

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, transcribed or redistributed without permission.

https://www.local10.com/news/politics/2022/05/23/ethics-panel-opens-investigation-into-gops-madison-cawthorn/ The ethics panel opens an investigation into the GOP’s Madison Cawthorn

Sarah Y. Kim

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