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Rep. Madison Cawthorn faces a House Ethics investigation

Rep. Madison Cawthorn, R-N.C., seen here waiting for the State of the Union address in March, faces allegations of insider trading related to an anti-Biden cryptocurrency and of having an inappropriate financial relationship with a staffer.
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 01: Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) arrives for the State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol on March 1, 2022 in Washington, DC. During his first State of the Union address, President Joe Biden will speak on his administration’s efforts to lead a global response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, work to curb inflation, and bring the country out of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Saul Loeb - Pool/Getty Images)

Rep. Madison Cawthorn, R-N.C., is under investigation by the House Ethics Committee, which will determine whether the freshman lawmaker violated rules by promoting a cryptocurrency while having a personal financial interest invested and engaged "in an improper relationship" with a member of his staff.

The move comes less than a week after Cawthorn was defeated in the North Carolina Republican primary following weeks of scandals that resulted in backlash from Capitol Hill Republicans.

While he didn't address the Ethics Committee announcement, he tweeted shortly after its announcement "Wow- I must still be a problem for the swamp! They're still coming after me!" Cawthorn's office did not respond to NPR's request for comment.

The controversial congressman has faced allegations of insider trading related to an anti-Biden cryptocurrency, the "Let's Go Brandon" crypto coin. He also faced allegations of having an inappropriate financial relationship with a staffer.

The Ethics Committee voted on May 11 to form an investigative subcommittee made up of four members, according to a release from the committee, which will conduct Cawthorn's investigation. Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, will serve as chair of the investigative subcommittee, with Rep. Michael Guest, R-Miss., serving as ranking member. Reps. Lisa Blunt Rochester, D-Fla., and Michelle Fischbach, R-Minn., are the other two members on the panel.

"The Committee notes that the mere fact of establishing an Investigative Subcommittee does not itself indicate that any violation has occurred," according to the statement.

In addition to the allegations that the House is investigating, Cawthorn has twice been accused of bringing a firearm into an airport, most recently in April, and driving while his license was revoked. He was also the subject of a lewd video that circulated just before the primary.

The Ethics Committee said it would not pursue an investigation on the speeding and driving without a license charges, citing that the matter had already been handled by local authorities.

On a conservative podcast in March, Cawthorn spoke about being invited to what he described as cocaine-fueled orgies held by fellow lawmakers in Washington, which earned him a rebuke from House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy.

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