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House Ethics: Cawthorn ‘improperly promoted’ cryptocurrency

Outgoing North Carolina Republican directed to pay $15,000 to charity

House Ethics found no evidence that Rep. Madison Cawthorn, R-N.C., engaged in an improper relationship with a member of his staff.
House Ethics found no evidence that Rep. Madison Cawthorn, R-N.C., engaged in an improper relationship with a member of his staff. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House Ethics Committee found that outgoing Rep. Madison Cawthorn “improperly promoted” a cryptocurrency in which he had a financial interest in violation of House conflict of interest rules, according to an 81-page report released Tuesday on the North Carolina Republican. 

The panel’s members were unable to “reach a consensus” as to whether Cawthorn intended to personally profit from the promotion of the cryptocurrency but directed him to pay nearly $15,000, the approximate value of the gift he received, to an “appropriate charitable organization,” the report stated. 

In response to separate allegations, House Ethics concluded that it found no evidence that Cawthorn, who lost in a primary earlier this year, had engaged in an improper relationship with a member of his congressional staff. 

Those allegations came into public view, the report said, “following the release of photographs and videos depicting the two of them engaging in explicit and sexually suggestive comments and conduct. Both denied having any romantic or sexual relationship.” Cawthorn also had not violated House rules or laws related to nepotism, “as the staffer was not a first cousin.” 

The cryptocurrency allegations stemmed from Cawthorn’s promotion of a “Let’s Go Brandon” coin. The Ethics panel noted that he had not disclosed his purchase or sales of the cryptocurrency in a timely way: “Following public reporting about Representative Cawthorn’s involvement with LGB Coin, he filed overdue Periodic Transaction Reports disclosing his purchase and sales of LGB Coin.”

Cawthorn “received an improper gift” in violation of House rules “when he received 180 billion LGB Coin,” the report notes. 

The Ethics Committee has jurisdiction over sitting members of Congress.

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