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Topline

A wave of controversy hitting right-wing firebrand Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) shows no signs of letting up, with a Republican senator on Wednesday calling for an investigation into potential insider trading by the youngest member of Congress–here are the many other troubles he has faced since launching a congressional bid two years ago.

Timeline

August 10, 2020Reports surface of 2017 photos Cawthorn posted on Instagram showing him visiting the Eagle’s Nest, the Alpine retreat of Nazi dictator and mass murderer Adolf Hitler, along with his comment that “visiting the vacation house of the Fuhrer” had been on his “bucket list for awhile.” Cawthorn, then a candidate in North Carolina’s 11th District House race, deletes the photos that day.

August 12, 2020The Asheville, North Carolina, news outlet AVL Watchdog reports Cawthorn said in a 2017 deposition he was rejected from the Naval Academy before a 2014 car crash left him partially paralyzed and requiring a wheelchair. The revelation contradicted Cawthorn’s claims that he was rejected after the crash.

October 18, 2020Several of Cawthorn’s former Patrick Henry College classmates release a letter saying he frequently took “women to secluded areas to forcefully engage in unwanted sexual advances” and also took part in a “well-documented case of vandalism” while he was a student there. Cawthorn dropped out of the small Christian college after one semester, where he earned mostly D’s, according to AVL Watchdog. Cawthorn has not earned a college degree.

November 3, 2020At the age of 25, Cawthorn becomes the youngest person elected to Congress since Jed Johnson Jr. in 1964. He taunts his Democratic opponent after being declared the winner, tweeting “Cry more, lib.”

January 6, 2021Cawthorn speaks at former President Donald Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally in Washington, just three days after being seated in Congress. Trump’s supporters went on to storm the U.S. Capitol in rioting that left five dead and more than 100 police officers injured.

February 15, 2021Cawthorn is questioned for attempting to bring a handgun and a loaded magazine onto an airplane in Asheville. He is not criminally charged or fined.

July 29, 2021Cawthorn gets into a shouting match with Rep. David McKinley (R-W.Va.) and reportedly berates McKinley’s staff over being named a cosponsor of a bill that he didn’t want his name attached to. A member of McKinley’s staff responds by filing an ethics complaint against Cawthorn.

March 10, 2022Video surfaces of Cawthorn calling Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky a “thug” in charge of an “incredibly evil” government following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. He also accuses Zelensky of pushing “woke ideologies.”

March 27, 2022Cawthorn says on the “Warrior Poet Society” podcast that D.C. political figures invited him to a “sexual get-together,” and he witnessed drug control advocates doing “key bumps” of cocaine in front of him. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) later said Cawthorn admitted he made up or exaggerated the allegations.

April 19, 2022A North Carolina judge releases dashcam footage showing Cawthorn being pulled over at a traffic stop and cited for driving with a revoked license. Cawthorn had two previous speeding violations in the six months prior.

April 22, 2022Politico publishes photos showing Cawthorn wearing women’s lingerie and drinking while attending a party, in sharp contrast with his self-proclaimed traditional Christian values. Cawthorn later claimed the images were “goofy vacation photos during a game on a cruise.”

April 26, 2022Cawthorn is cited for having a gun in a carry-on bag at Charlotte Douglas International Airport. It’s not clear whether he faces a fine.

April 27, 2022Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) calls on the House Ethics Committee to investigate Cawthorn after the Washington Examiner reported Cawthorn could be implicated in an insider trading scheme involving the Let’s Go Brandon cryptocurrency.

Key Background

Cawthorn’s antics have drawn sharp criticism from both the left and the right, and seem to have particularly roiled his party’s leadership. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told reporters following a 30-minute meeting with Cawthorn last month that the freshman congressman had lost his trust. Comments Cawthorn made about orgies and cocaine in particular “got a lot of members very upset,” McCarthy said, adding “you can’t make statements like that as a member of Congress.” McCarthy also said he urged Cawthorn to make life choices to “turn himself around.” His comments about Zelensky also drew backlash from many Republicans, like Rep. Tom Rice (R-S.C.), who told CNN he thinks Cawthorn is “living in a dream land” and is not “a serious legislator.”

Contra

Cawthorn is a staunch Trump supporter, and his squabbles with top Congressional Republicans don’t seem to bother the former president. Trump featured Cawthorn as a speaker at his April 9 rally in North Carolina.

What To Watch For

Cawthorn faces seven Republican challengers in his reelection bid. The GOP primary is May 17 and early voting starts Thursday.

Further Reading

Sen. Tillis Calls For Insider Trading Probe Over Rep. Cawthorn’s Ties To ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ Meme Coin (Forbes)

Madison Cawthorn Cited For Carrying Gun At Charlotte Airport (Forbes)

Rep. Madison Cawthorn Blasts Ukraine’s Zelensky As A ‘Thug’ (Forbes)

‘He’s Lost My Trust’: McCarthy Rebukes Cawthorn Over Allegations Of Orgies And Cocaine Use (Forbes)

Trump Invites Cawthorn To Speak At Rally After Fallout With GOP Leadership Over Orgy Claim (Forbes)

Kevin McCarthy’s Awful Few Days: Embarrassing Leaks—And More Unwanted Cawthorn And Marjorie Taylor Greene Stories (Forbes)

Source: Forbes

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