clearn.png
Thursday October 6th, 2022 12:46AM

Ethics panel opens investigation into GOP's Madison Cawthorn

By The Associated Press

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

The investigation is just the latest moment of high-profile scrutiny for the North Carolina Republican, who will be leaving Congress at the end of the year after losing his primary race last week to state Sen. Chuck Edwards. Cawthorn's defeat came despite support for his reelection bid from former President Donald Trump.

Rep. Veronica Escobar, a Democrat from Texas, and Rep. Michael Guest, a Republican from Mississippi, will lead the review of Cawthorn. The panel cautioned that the opening of the investigation does not mean that he violated House rules.

In a statement, the congressman's chief of staff, Blake Harp said they “welcome the opportunity to prove that Congressman Cawthorn committed no wrongdoing and that he was falsely accused by partisan adversaries for political gain.”

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

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

The committee did not provide any further details on Cawthorn's alleged “improper relationship.”

The 26-year-old lawmaker's political career has been upended by a series of salacious headlines that contributed to his downfall in last week's primary. Since October, he has been stopped by the police three times — two in which he was cited for speeding and one for driving with a revoked license. He’s been caught with guns at airport checkpoints twice in the past year, including three weeks ago. And in March, as the Russian invasion into Ukraine was deepening, Cawthorn called Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy a “thug” even as many of his GOP colleagues were pledging support for Ukraine's government.

Shortly after that, Cawthorn further infuriated his GOP colleagues when he alleged on a podcast that he had been invited to an orgy in Washington and that he had seen leaders in the movement to end drug addiction use cocaine. House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., reprimanded him publicly for the remarks.

In the final weeks of Cawthorn's primary campaign videos emerged that showed him in sexually suggestive poses, which he has said were from several years ago and were meant to be funny.

Cawthorn has acknowledged the speeding and gun citations as failings, but has dismissed the videos as part of a “drip campaign” by his political enemies, of which he has included some establishment Republicans, to drive him out of Congress.

“I am on a mission now to expose those who say and promise one thing yet legislate and work towards another, self-profiteering, globalist goal,” Cawthorn said in social media post after losing his primary last week. “It’s time for the rise of the new right, it’s time for Dark MAGA to truly take command.”

Also on Monday, the ethics committee said it was investigating two other Republican lawmakers, both for improperly spending certain congressional and campaign funds, among other issues.

The Office of Congressional Ethics, the independent office that pursues any potential wrongdoings by House members, said in a report that it found “substantial reason to believe” Rep. Alex Mooney, R-W.Va., improperly accepted a free trip for him and his family to Aruba from a company that also provided services to his campaign, and used his congressional staff to plan the vacation.

Ryan Kelly, a spokesperson for Mooney, said in a statement that the lawmaker plans to cooperate with the ethics probe but that the findings of its investigation were "tainted from the outset by the OCE’s procedural irregularities and denial of due process.”

The watchdog group also concluded that Rep. Ronny Jackson, R-Texas, used campaign funds to pay for “unlimited access” to a private social club in his state. In a response to the committee, Jackson's attorney Justin Clark argued his client made the purchases at the Amarillo Club for campaign-related reasons and therefore it is within the federal guidelines for personal use of campaign funds.

___

Associated Press writers John Raby in Charleston, West Virginia, and Gary Robertson in Raleigh, North Carolina, contributed to this report.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Elections, AP Business, AP Elections - Campaigns
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
If Roe falls, some fear repercussions for reproductive care
If the Supreme Court follows through on overturning Roe v
3:43PM ( 33 minutes ago )
Opponents of federal vaccine mandate seek rehearing
A federal appeals court is being asked to reconsider its decision allowing the Biden administration to require that federal employees get vaccinated against COVID-19
3:38PM ( 38 minutes ago )
Californians could see mandatory water cuts amid drought
California Gov. Gavin Newsom says he may impose mandatory water restrictions if people don't start using less as a drought drags on
3:33PM ( 43 minutes ago )
U.S. News
Surgeon: Johnny Depp's severed finger story has flaws
A hand surgeon has testified that Johnny Depp could not have lost the tip of his middle finger the way he told jurors it happened in his civil lawsuit against ex-wife Amber Heard
4:10PM ( 6 minutes ago )
Pentagon says more high-tech weapons going to Ukraine
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin says nearly 50 defense leaders from around the world met Monday and agreed to send more advanced weapons to Ukraine, including a harpoon launcher and missiles to protect its coast
4:05PM ( 10 minutes ago )
Russian sentenced to life in Ukraine's 1st war crimes trial
A Russian soldier who pleaded guilty to killing a Ukrainian civilian was sentenced to life in prison
3:54PM ( 22 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
US stocks gain ground following 7 straight weeks of losses
Stocks rallied in afternoon trading on Wall Street Monday following seven weeks of declines that nearly ended the bull market that began in March 2020
3:18PM ( 58 minutes ago )
South Asia's intense heat wave a 'sign of things to come'
The intense heat wave sweeping through South Asia was made more likely due to climate change and is a sign of things to come
2:39PM ( 1 hour ago )
Tough GOP race for Shelby seat in Alabama closes with flurry
Republican Senate hopefuls in Alabama are making last-minute pitches to primary voters in the tight race for the GOP nomination for the seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Richard Shelby
2:30PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
78,000 pounds of infant formula arrives in US
A military plane carrying enough specialty infant formula for more than half a million baby bottles arrived Sunday in Indianapolis
1:57AM ( 14 hours ago )
2022 midterms: What to watch in Georgia, Texas, elsewhere
Georgia takes center stage in Tuesday’s primary elections as Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger try to fight back challengers endorsed by Donald Trump
12:25AM ( 15 hours ago )
Stacey Abrams aims to recapture energy of first campaign
Georgia's Stacey Abrams has benefitted from being unopposed in the state's Democratic primary for governor by using the period to spread her message while Republicans have fought
12:12AM ( 16 hours ago )
Top U.S. News short headlines
UK's Boris Johnson awaits judgment of 'partygate' report
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been shadowed by career-threatening scandal for months — but so far has escaped unscathed
2:47PM ( 1 hour ago )
Yellen's global tax plan meets resistance abroad and at home
Last July, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen celebrated it as a “historic day” when more than 100 nations agreed to a global minimum tax deal meant to reform and equalize the world’s economy
2:10PM ( 2 hours ago )
Ex-rebel emerges as favorite in Colombian presidential race
A one-time rebel fighter has used an emotional anti-establishment discourse and promises to boost state involvement in the economy to garner a commanding lead in polls as Colombia heads into Sunday's presidential election
12:01PM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Russian ties shred German ex-leader Schroeder's standing
Gerhard Schroeder left the German chancellery after a narrow election defeat in 2005 with an ambitious overhaul of the country’s welfare state beginning to kick in and every chance of a future as a respected elder statesman
2:22AM ( 13 hours ago )
Bangkok governor's election handily won by opposition figure
Residents of the Thai capital Bangkok have elected an independent politician seen as representing opponents of the country’s military-backed government
1:24AM ( 14 hours ago )
Russia presses Donbas attacks as Polish leader praises Kyiv
Russia’s war with Ukraine isn’t confined to Ukraine’s east
10:59PM ( 17 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Davos updates | Urgent need in Afghanistan is saving economy
Two high-level speakers at the World Economic Forum gathering say Afghanistan’s most urgent need is saving its economy from complete collapse
3:21PM ( 55 minutes ago )
European Central Bank chief signals possible July rate hike
The president of the European Central Bank has given the clearest sign yet that policymakers will aim to raise interest rates as soon as July to ease surging inflation
3:08PM ( 1 hour ago )
Game workers at Call of Duty maker await union vote tally
Video game workers at a division of game publisher Activision Blizzard are waiting to find out if they’ve formed the first labor union at a large U.S. video game company
3:05PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
Surgeon: Johnny Depp's severed finger story has flaws
A hand surgeon has testified that Johnny Depp could not have lost the tip of his middle finger the way he told jurors it happened in his civil lawsuit against ex-wife Amber Heard
4:10PM ( 6 minutes ago )
Pentagon says more high-tech weapons going to Ukraine
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin says nearly 50 defense leaders from around the world met Monday and agreed to send more advanced weapons to Ukraine, including a harpoon launcher and missiles to protect its coast
4:05PM ( 11 minutes ago )
Russian sentenced to life in Ukraine's 1st war crimes trial
A Russian soldier who pleaded guilty to killing a Ukrainian civilian was sentenced to life in prison
3:54PM ( 22 minutes ago )
Osaka loses in 1st round of French Open, may skip Wimbledon
Naomi Osaka’s return to the French Open ended in the first round with a straight-set loss to 20-year-old American Amanda Anisimova
3:43PM ( 33 minutes ago )
If Roe falls, some fear repercussions for reproductive care
If the Supreme Court follows through on overturning Roe v
3:43PM ( 33 minutes ago )