Simply weeks earlier than he’s set to exit Congress, the Home Ethics Committee launched its report Tuesday on Rep. Madison Cawthorn’s (R-NC) cryptocurrency scandal, ordering him to pay greater than $14,000 towards a charity and a $1,000`effective following “substantial proof” that he promoted a “Let’s Go Brandon” coin that he had an undisclosed monetary curiosity in.
In keeping with the 81-page report, Cawthorn had bought a lot of Let’s Go Brandon cash and urged one other witness cited within the report back to “pump this up a lot” earlier than publicly selling the coin in an Instagram remark. However Cawthorn didn’t disclose his vested stake within the coin earlier than publicly selling it—a violation of Home guidelines.
Cawthorn advised investigators he meant to “publicly inform individuals” he owned Let’s Go Brandon cash, however evidently forgot.
On Dec. 31, 2021, two days after commenting on an Instagram submit that Let’s Go Brandon coin was headed “to the moon”—a colloquial expression within the crypto group for exponential good points—Cawthorn offered 65,841,651,026 Let’s Go Brandon cash, which made up 36.58% of his whole owned cash. He made an approximate 93% return on his funding, in line with the report.
In keeping with investigators, Cawthorn mentioned he initially purchased the coin to “join along with his era, poke enjoyable at a political opponent, and tackle the federal government’s management of forex.”
Cawthorn introduced Tuesday he’ll donate half of the charity-directed fines towards the Firearms Coverage Coalition and half towards the Shepherd Mind and Spinal Twine Heart.
The report additionally addresses allegations that Cawthorn had an inappropriate relationship with a staffer. The committee’s investigation of that allegation discovered “no proof” of such a relationship, and famous there was “no proof of an unprofessional workplace setting, and located that Consultant Cawthorn didn’t violate Home Guidelines or legal guidelines regarding nepotism.”
It’s an imperfect ending to a rocky two years in Congress for Cawthorn, who misplaced his main in Could. Not solely did he flip heads after alleging members of Congress had been having orgies and doing key bumps of cocaine on the common, he additionally confronted a number of run-ins with the regulation whereas driving or touring.
Simply 27-years-old, Cawthorn has not but introduced his plans for after his time period ends in January, however he has intimated some involvement with GOP politics. He mentioned after he misplaced his main this yr that the GOP ought to embrace “darkish MAGA” positions—presumably a tougher flip towards former President Donald Trump’s techniques—and Cawthorn was the one sitting member of Congress to point out as much as Trump’s announcement speech in November.
This spring, authorities ethics watchdogs additionally raised alarms in response to The Day by day Beast’s reporting about what seemed to be extreme Cawthorn marketing campaign payouts to his chief-of-staff. The marketing campaign drew additional scrutiny a month later for apparently misappropriating donations, and has since gone bust, with solely $12,000 within the financial institution as of Oct. 19.
However Cawthorn lately signaled that, whereas he could also be exiting the Capitol doorways, he doesn’t intend to get out of the political fundraising sport. On Nov. 28, he transformed his marketing campaign committee to a management PAC, referred to as “MADISON PAC,” which can permit him to assist political allies, in addition to faucet the account for what quantities to a private
“slush fund.” It’s a reversal: Cawthorn terminated his outdated, broke management PAC the day after he misplaced.
Roger Sollenberger contributed to this report.