Federal Investigation Of Madison Cawthorn Sought By GOP Senator


There’s now yet another serious scandal involving Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.): potential insider trading, and Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) has called for an investigation into Cawthorn’s actions in this situation by the House Ethics Committee. Tillis, notably, has already endorsed North Carolina GOP state Sen. Chuck Edwards in his primary campaign for Cawthorn’s seat, and a super PAC connected to Tillis recently rolled out a $310,000 ad campaign targeting Cawthorn and characterizing him — not inaccurately — as a liar.

As for the potential insider trading, Cawthorn was pictured on December 29 of last year at an event with James Koutoulas, who’s one of the individuals behind the so-called “Let’s Go Brandon” cryptocurrency, which is named after the chant replacing “Fuck Joe Biden” that certain Republicans have used. The derisive anti-Biden phrase was misheard by a journalist covering a NASCAR race as “Let’s Go Brandon,” leading some of those in the coarser corners of the GOP to use the Brandon-referencing chant as a stand-in for their harsher sentiments — for some reason. In an Instagram post on the day he was seen with Koutoulas, Cawthorn — who’d indicated he owned some of the cryptocurrency — remarked: “Tomorrow we go to the moon!” using a phrase that’s employed to reference increases in value for financial holdings. And guess what? The next day, NASCAR driver Brandon Brown — who that unfortunate journalist thought was the subject of the original chant — announced a sponsorship deal involving the cryptocurrency, and its value shot up.

The “Let’s Go Brandon” cryptocurrency has since collapsed. But questions remain — did Cawthorn know of the sponsorship deal with Brown before it was announced? As summarized by Forbes, “Multiple watchdog groups told the [Washington] Examiner that Cawthorn’s Instagram post suggests he may have had previous non-public knowledge of the sponsorship deal with Brown.” These groups originally added that investigations into Cawthorn’s involvement with the cryptocurrency by the Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission would be in order. Tillis directed his push for an investigation to the House Ethics Committee, writing on Twitter: “Insider trading by a member of Congress is a serious betrayal of their oath, and Congressman Cawthorn owes North Carolinians an explanation. There needs to be a thorough and bipartisan inquiry into the matter by the House Ethics Committee.”

This debacle constitutes an entry on a remarkably expansive list of serious issues involving the Congressman. For instance, just this week, Cawthorn was — for the second time! — caught with a gun in his belongings at an airport, and the gun found in recent days appears to have been loaded. Cawthorn has also been caught driving with a revoked license and speeding — going at one point 24 mph above the posted speed limit, while serving in Congress. And none of that even covers his connections to the Trump-inspired attack on the Capitol last year, which drove a challenge to his eligibility for re-election on the basis of provisions of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that restrict individuals who were involved in insurrection from running for office.