Madison Cawthorn Is Now Under Investigation Over Possible “Improper Relationship” and Potential Fraud

What will “Dark MAGA” do about this one?

Nell Redmond/AP

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

Madison Cawthorn’s new status as a lame duck, often a quiet period for defeated politicians, appears set to be just as tumultuous as the scandal-plagued track record that got him booted from Congress.

On Monday, the House Ethics Committee announced an investigation into two sets of allegations related to the embattled Republican: that Cawthorn may have dabbled in some light insider trading related to the cryptocurrency Let’s Go Brandon, and that he engaged in an improper relationship with a staffer. (Cawthorn’s office has denied the panel’s allegations, claiming that Cawthorn is being targeted for “political gain.” This comes just a week after the North Carolina Republican lost his seat in the GOP primary for the state’s 11th congressional district. 

Ethics investigations into members of Congress are relatively rare. That Cawthorn is on his way out makes Monday’s announcement even more unusual, though perhaps ultimately unsurprising considering how much both sides of the aisle appeared to loathe him. In his short career, Cawthorn, the youngest member of Congress, got caught in a series of headline-making scandals that included lies about his college acceptances, allegations of past sexual harassment, dubious claims he made about supposed drug-fueled orgies running amuck in the shadows of DC, and much, much more.

Following his defeat, a vengeful Cawthorn on Thursday appeared determined to leave Congress with some last-minute weirdness, vowing to expose “those who say and promise one thing yet legislate and work towards another.” Cawthorn’s Instagram post enlisted the help of something called “Dark MAGA,” which as my colleague Ali Breland explained, doesn’t appear to be much more than a handful of bad Photoshop jobs.

Fact:

In-depth journalism that investigates the powerful takes real money and is so damn important right now.But it doesn’t take a Mother Jones investigation to know that billionaires and corporations will never fund the type of reporting (like they do politicians) we do that exists to help bring about change. Instead, our mission-driven journalism is made possible by people power, and has been for 46 years now since our founding as a non-profit.

In “TITLE TK” Monica Bauerlein writes about the perilous moment we’re in, and why it’s so important that we raise $325,000 by the time November’s midterms are decided so we can be ready to throw everything we have at the big issues facing the nation no matter what happens. Please help MoJo’s people-powered journalism with a donation today.

$400,000 to go!

payment methods

Fact:

In-depth journalism that investigates the powerful takes real money and is so damn important right now.But it doesn’t take a Mother Jones investigation to know that billionaires and corporations will never fund the type of reporting (like they do politicians) we do that exists to help bring about change. Instead, our mission-driven journalism is made possible by people power, and has been for 46 years now since our founding as a non-profit.

In “TITLE TK” Monica Bauerlein writes about the perilous moment we’re in, and why it’s so important that we raise $325,000 by the time November’s midterms are decided so we can be ready to throw everything we have at the big issues facing the nation no matter what happens. Please help MoJo’s people-powered journalism with a donation today.

$400,000 to go!

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate