The House Committee on Ethics is investigating Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) for allegedly engaging in an improper relationship with a staffer and promoting a cryptocurrency in which he had an undisclosed interest.
The bipartisan, 10-member committee voted to form an investigative subcommittee on May 11, according to a statement from Committee Chair Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) and top Republican member Jackie Walorski (Ind.).
In accordance with House rules, the panel doesn’t comment on investigations, other than by issuing statements and reports. Although Monday’s statement doesn’t include any additional details about the allegations, they do align with a complaint an anti-Cawthorn super PAC filed in April.
American Muckrakers PAC claimed Cawthorn provided loans, housing and travel to a staffer that was not properly disclosed, citing campaign-finance reports and social-media posts. The group also alleged that Cawthorn profited through his promotion of the Let’s Go Brandon cryptocurrency, citing reporting from the Washington Examiner.
The panel’s statement notes that the establishment of an investigative subcommittee does not necessarily mean a violation has occurred. Cawthorn disputes the allegations.
“We welcome the opportunity to prove that Congressman Cawthorn committed no wrongdoing and that he was falsely accused by partisan adversaries for political gain,” said Cawthorn’s Chief of Staff Blake Harp 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.”
Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-Texas) will chair the subcommittee, whose other members will be?Michael Guest (R-Miss.), Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.) and?Michelle Fischbach (R-Minn.).
The House Committee On Ethics voted against pursuing an inquiry into Cawthorn for driving with a revoked license and speeding. The freshman lawmaker lost his bid for reelection in a primary last week.