Representative Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina has denounced a “pathetic” ethics complaint brought against him as scandals involving the first-term Republican continue to pile up.
The group Fire Madison Cawthorn, led by the American Muckrakers PAC, filed an ethics complaint with the Congressional Ethics Office on Wednesday. A video of Cawthorn appearing to be groped in the groin by his staffer Stephen Smith was included in the filing, sparking another round of backlash for the embattled congressman when the video was shared on social media.
Cawthorn took to Twitter on Friday to dismiss the ethics complaint and comments on the video, insisting in a series of tweets that a “smear” campaign had been launched against him by those opposing his “America First” values.
“I believe in some pretty aggressive government reforms,” Cawthorn said. tweeted. “I want to change the GOP for the better, and I believe in America First. I can understand the establishment attacking those beliefs, but it’s pathetic to dig up some early 20s stuff to smear me.”
“At least be consistent with your attack instead of switching targets every time,” he continued. “A campaign based solely on slander and personal attacks is a campaign that lacks any real sense of how to save the country from leftists.”
Cawthorn, 26, went on to say he ‘looked damn good on that cruise ship’, apparently referring to now-viral photos of him wearing women’s lingerie on a cruise ship that have been leaked to the press last week.
Other recent scandals involving the North Carolina Republican include an allegation of insider trading in cryptocurrency, attempting to smuggle a gun past airport security checkpoints on multiple occasions and enraged his fellow Republicans claiming that he had been invited to orgies by colleagues who encouraged him to use cocaine.
The American Muckrakers PAC ethics complaint alleges improper and undisclosed payments and gifts from Cawthorn to Smith, who the group says lives with and has a close “personal relationship” with Cawthorn. The complaint also refers to incidents at the airport and in Cawthorn which allegedly brought “daggers” to North Carolina schools on several occasions.
“What’s pathetic is a 26-year-old congressman who thinks the rules don’t apply to him,” American Muckrakers PAC President David B. Wheeler said in a statement. Newsweek asked about Cawthorn’s tweet. “What’s pathetic is a legislator who never admits his mistakes or takes responsibility for his actions.”
“The complaint we filed with the House Ethics Committee is about Cawthorn’s short tenure in Congress, not his 20th birthday just 2 years ago,” he added. “Guns have no place in airports. Daggers have no place in schools. Irresponsible and immature people have no place in Congress. We hope voters will share our belief that Cawthorn’s time in Congress is over and they will vote against him in this primary.”