House Ethics Committee Launches Investigation Into Madison Cawthorn

The House Ethics Committee has launched an investigation into GOP Congressman Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina.

The subcommittee will examine whether Cawthorn had an undisclosed interest in a cryptocurrency he promoted. It will also investigate whether he had an improper relationship with a member of his congressional staff.

The questions stem partly from a Washington Examiner story that ran last month, which suggested Cawthorn had advance notice of a deal that caused a cryptocurrency to surge in value. A political action committee that worked against Cawthorn in the run-up to last week’s primary election filed a complaint last month over that issue and several others, including questions surrounding Cawthorn’s relationship with a staffer who is also his second cousin.

The ethics committee created an investigative subcommittee on these issues. The committee chairman said in a statement Monday that it “shall have jurisdiction to determine whether Representative Madison Cawthorn may have: improperly promoted a cryptocurrency in which he may have had an undisclosed financial interest, and engaged in an improper relationship with an individual employed on his congressional staff.”

Cawthorn’s chief of staff, Blake Harp, told The Hill that Cawthorn did nothing wrong and was “falsely accused by partisan adversaries for political gain.”

“This inquiry is a formality,” Harp told The Hill. “Our office isn’t deterred in the slightest from completing the job the patriots of Western North Carolina sent us to Washington to accomplish.”

The push for investigation was bipartisan, though. U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina called for an inquiry.

Tillis also supported Cawthorn’s opponent, state Sen Chuck Edwards, in last week’s GOP primary after a string of controversies involving Cawthorn, a first-term Republican from Western North Carolina.

Edwards defeated Cawthorn in that primary.

 

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