The government watchdog group known as Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) has now called on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to remove Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) from his committee assignments in response to violent comments that he recently made. Such a step is exactly what the Democratic majority in the House undertook targeting Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) after her recent violent rhetoric and social media activity — including apparent support for executing prominent Democrats — resurfaced. In Cawthorn’s case, he proclaimed that if elections “continue to be rigged and continue to be stolen,” then “bloodshed” could be expected to ensue.
CREW has sent a letter to Speaker Pelosi and Kevin McCarthy: Republican Madison Cawthorn should be stripped of his committee assignments "following his recent statements calling for violence and undermining our democracy." https://t.co/kZYFn7WW6v
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) September 19, 2021
As CREW President Noah Bookbinder put it:
‘Congressman Cawthorn went well beyond just spreading lies that endanger our democracy, he expressed sympathy for insurrectionists and repeatedly raised the prospect of future political violence against fellow Americans. These statements disgrace his office and undermine the pillars of our government. We urge Speaker Pelosi and Leader McCarthy to strip Rep. Cawthorn of his committee assignments as a clear repudiation of statements that threaten irreparable harm to our democracy.’
Sure, Cawthorn said at the time that he would not be eager “to pick up arms” against fellow Americans, and he seemed to suggest that Americans could avert this looming, hypothetical “bloodshed” by dealing with supposed election integrity problems here and now — but the fact remains that a sitting member of the United States Congress indicated that he would essentially understand deadly violence against Americans in response to election fraud claims that don’t actually reflect reality. No public figure — let alone a member of Congress — should be giving a metaphorical wink and a nod to would-be violent insurrectionists.
As Bookbinder also put it:
‘Rep. Cawthorn has made it clear that he is comfortable with using his office to actively undermine our nation’s democratic institutions. There must be consequences for this behavior. Removing Cawthorn from his congressional committees is a necessary step toward achieving much-needed accountability.’
Cawthorn’s office responded to criticism of his remarks, with a spokesperson for him insisting that he was supposedly clearly “advocating for violence not to occur over election integrity questions.” Even if he was advocating against violence, he was still openly laying out how he felt as though violence would be an essentially logical next step in response to current circumstances — which is utterly disgraceful.