A complaint with the Congressional Ethics Office alleges that embattled North Carolina Rep. Madison Cawthorn exchanged lewd messages with a staffer who was photographed with a hand on the congressman’s crotch.
American Muckrakers PAC, which is also known as Fire Madison Cawthorn, filed a complaint with the office on April 27 requesting an investigation into whether Mr. Cawthorn violated any House rules regarding Stephen L Smith.
The complaint alleges that Mr. Cawthorn violated several rules by providing free housing to Mr. Smith, who is reported to be Mr. Cawthorn’s cousin. It also alleges that Mr. Cawthorn has provided loans to Mr. Smith.
The complaint does not mean that Mr. Cawthorn is under investigation; it simply means that the office will review it and if he finds the allegations plausible, he will forward the complaint to the House Ethics Committee, which is bipartisan.
The complaint, which includes the video that The Daily Mail originally reported with Mr. Smith’s hand on Mr. Cawthorn’s crotch, features several photos from Mr. Smith’s Instagram account of them spending time together, including in a cabin in Mexico with Mr. Smith smoking a cigar and Mr. Cawthorn commenting, “He is now a father of two continents. He is so good with his little bilingual babies.”
Another Instagram post where Mr. Smith talks about his excitement for the coming year prompted Mr. Cawthorn to comment: “Just wrap yourself up man. You are the gift.
In addition, the two exchanged multiple Venmo transactions with various sexual overtones, such as “Nudity,” “Airport Quickie,” and “Getting Naked for Me in Sweden.” Although they may just be joking.
Cawthorn has come under increased scrutiny for his behavior in recent weeks after he said on a podcast that members of Congress invited him to an orgy and others used cocaine. In response, many Republican leaders backed his main opponents.
The ethics complaint also cites how Cawthorn reportedly attempted to carry a gun on a flight earlier this month.
the independent has contacted Mr. Cawthorn’s office for comment.
Earlier, the legislator took to Twitter with a challenging message for his followers.
“I have gained 43,000 followers since the coordinated attack on me and my re-election,” he tweeted.
On Friday, he defended himself, saying Republicans were engaged in a smear campaign because he wanted to change the GOP for the better.
“I can understand the establishment attacking those beliefs, but just digging up stuff from my 20s to smear me is pathetic,” Mr Cawthorn, 26, tweeted.
“At least be consistent with your attack instead of changing approach every time,” he tweeted. “A campaign based solely on smears and personal attacks is a campaign that lacks a real sense of how to save the country from leftists.”