Ethics Panel Opens Cawthorn Investigation

Scope includes allegation about 'Let's Go Brandon' crypto coin
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted May 23, 2022 7:25 PM CDT
Updated May 24, 2022 6:50 AM CDT
Cawthorn Faces Ethics Investigation
Rep. Madison Cawthorn speaks to supporters and the media at his primary election night watch party last week in Hendersonville, NC.   (AP Photo/Nell Redmond)

(Newser) – The House Ethics Committee said Monday it's beginning an investigation of Rep. Madison Cawthorn, the Republican freshman whose reelection bid was derailed last week when he lost his North Carolina primary. The panel is looking into whether Cawthorn broke any rules by promoting a cryptocurrency in which he might have invested, and whether he was involved in an improper relationship with a member of his staff, NPR reports. The committee said its vote earlier this month to investigate was unanimous, per CNN.

Cawthorn didn't address the substance of the investigation on Monday but tweeted: "Wow—I must still be a problem for the swamp! They're still coming after me!" His chief of staff, Blake Harp, said Cawthorn looks forward to proving that he "committed no wrongdoing and that he was falsely accused by partisan adversaries for political gain." The committee is half Democrats, half Republicans, per Axios. Democratic Rep. Veronica Escobar will chair the subcommittee. The panel's statement said its decision to investigate does not mean Cawthorn broke any House rules, per the AP.

The insider trading issue involves an anti-President Biden cryptocurrency. The Washington Examiner reported last month that Cawthorn knew a day before it was announced that the "Let's Go Brandon" crypto coin was going to sponsor NASCAR driver Brandon Brown. Cawthorn has said he owns the currency. Sen. Thom Tillis, a Republican from his home state, called for the Ethics Committee to investigate the issue, per NPR. (Politico produced an unsettling profile of Cawthorn this month.)

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