Madison Cawthorn Notified Of Federal Ethics Investigation Request


Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) is facing a new complaint with the Office of Congressional Ethics requesting an investigation into a host of scandals involving the controversial North Carolina Congressman. Cawthorn is among the Republican members of Congress who have been closely involved in spreading lies about the integrity of the last presidential election, but his scandals extend well on from there. Among other issues cited by the group behind the complaint — the American Muckrakers PAC — are the two instances when guns have been found in Cawthorn’s belongings at an airport and the apparent provision of financial support to a staffer in violation of House rules. Cawthorn also evidently brought a dagger onto public educational property in North Carolina four times.

The staffer involved in the issues cited in the complaint implicating Cawthorn is Stephen Smith, who — among other connections to the Congressman — appears to live in a house owned by Cawthorn without paying anything for it. That arrangement would seem to violate House rules against providing more than $250 worth of free travel and lodging to staffers within certain periods. Smith was also with Cawthorn on the Congressman’s 2021 honeymoon to Dubai with then-wife Cristina Bayardelle, and he was also in a cellphone video with the Congressman in which he placed his hand on Cawthorn’s crotch. According to Cawthorn’s spokesman Luke Ball, Cawthorn and Smith are cousins. Also cited in the complaint to the independent federal entity known as the Office of Congressional Ethics is Cawthorn’s potential insider trading, which was already the subject of a push for an investigation by the House Ethics Committee from Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.).

As reported on this site, Cawthorn was pictured on December 29 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 to use the Brandon-referencing chant as a stand-in for harsher sentiments. In an Instagram post from the day he was present 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. 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. Did Cawthorn know about the sponsorship deal ahead of time?

Cawthorn recently remarked on Twitter: “I believe in some pretty aggressive government reforms. I want to change the GOP for the better, and I believe in America First. I can understand the establishment attacking those beliefs, but just digging stuff up from my early 20s to smear me is pathetic.” Cawthorn is 26 years old — so his so-called early 20s weren’t all that long ago. He’s become ensnared in other issues too, like repeated speeding and a March incident in which he was driving in North Carolina with a revoked license. In one of the speeding incidents, which took place in October 2021 — while he was in Congress — Cawthorn was going 24 mph above the speed limit, potentially putting people in mortal danger.