On Monday, the House Ethics Committee opened a probe into North Carolina freshman Congressman Madison Cawthorn. The investigation will focus on allegations the pro-Trump Congressman promoted a cryptocurrency without disclosing he had a financial interest in it and also had an improper relationship with one of his staffers.
The Hill reports:
The announcement of the probe came on Monday, after the committee voted to establish an investigative subcommittee on May 11. The committee noted that establishment of an investigative subcommittee does not mean that a violation has occurred.
Cawthorn has brushed off the ethics complaint as a mere “formality” and reiterated he’s done nothing wrong.
“We welcome the opportunity to prove that Congressman Cawthorn committed no wrongdoing and that he was falsely accused by partisan adversaries for political gain,” Blake Harp, Cawthorn’s chief of staff, told The Hill in a statement. “This inquiry is a formality. Our office isn’t deterred in the slightest from completing the job the patriots of Western North Carolina sent us to Washington to accomplish.”
An anti-Cawthorn PAC filed an ethics complaint against Cawthorn on April 29, listing the cryptocurrency matter and his relationship with and alleged gifts to his scheduler, who is also his distant cousin. A video included in the ethics complaint, first reported by the Daily Mail, showed Cawthorn with his scheduler in a car speaking about suggestive topics in an exaggerated accent and his scheduler reaching into Cawthorn’s crotch.
Another video was released by the anti-Cawthorn PAC the following week that showed Cawthorn nude engaging in more suggestive behavior in a bed with another individual. Cawthorn at the time said that he was “being crass with a friend, trying to be funny,” and that it was filmed years ago.
Texas Democrat Rep. Veronica Escobar will chair the investigative subcommittee looking into Cawthorn, and Mississippi Republican Rep. Michael Guest will be its ranking member.