You think you're having a bad day? Someone could making a movie about Madison Cawthorn's week-- not his life... just this week. I'm almost feeling sorry for the kid. If he just wasn't so inherently evil. (Remember, when you start feeling sorry for him, he's a vicious sex predator and a genuine Nazi and fervent admirer of Adolf Hitler, as well as Trump.)
This week, Cawthorn, whose candidacy is being challenged based on the 14th Amendment prohibition of insurrectionists and seditionists running for federal office, has ads being run against his reelection bid-- ads 100% paid for by North Carolina Republicans:
But that's not the half of it. Everyone in the country now knows he exposed the GOP congressional cocaine and orgies scandal. His colleagues all hate his guts just for doing that. Some are complaining that because of Cawthorn their wives no longer trust them to go out after work! Kevin McCarthy-- forever tarred a compulsive liar-- made up some bullshit story that Cawthorn admitted he was lying. The following day, Cawthorn turned around and told Roger Stone that McCarthy was lying and that he never admitted anything of the sort and that he stands by his story about the cocaine and the GOP sex orgies.
This week he's been in court for reckless driving with a revoked license, one of 3 charges against him for traffic violations. But traffic tickets are the least of his problems. After calling Ukraine's heroic and inspiring president "a thug," an ex-Cawthorn staffer started leaking evidence of every kind of crime, lie and indiscretion you can think of. Someone released photos of him in drag. And for someone who babbles constantly about how religious he is and who has an anti-LGBTQ record, being a cross-dresser is a very bad look.
The county chairs in his district are supporting one of his primary opponents, state Senator Chuck Edwards, who has also been endorsed by U.S. Senator Thom Tillis. Today started badly enough for Cawthorn when it was reported he was cited by police "for possession of a dangerous weapon on city property after TSA agents found the gun in a bag and notified CMPD officers who are assigned to the airport. The Charlotte Observer reported that police detained and then released Cawthorn but confiscated the loaded Staccato 9mm handgun.
This is the second instance where Cawthorn has been caught with a gun at an airport. In February 2021, Cawthorn tried to go through security with a gun at the Asheville airport. Security there found a Glock 9 mm handgun and confiscated it from the congressman but allowed him to board the plane. He’s also been accused of bringing knives to two school board meetings and, separately, two schools.
As if that wasn't bad enough, the right-wing Washington Exminer reported that Cawthorn appears to have violated federal insider trading laws "as he hyped up an alleged pump-and-dump cryptocurrency scheme."
On Dec. 29, the beleaguered North Carolina congressman posed at a party with James Koutoulas, a hedge fund manager and the ringleader of the Let's Go Brandon cryptocurrency, a meme coin set up in the wake of the chant mocking President Joe Biden.
"LGB legends. ... Tomorrow we go to the moon!" Cawthorn, who has stated publicly he owns the cryptocurrency, posted on Instagram in response to the picture posted on Koutoulas's Instagram page.
The next day, LGBCoin did exactly as the lawmaker predicted.
NASCAR driver Brandon Brown announced on Dec. 30 that the meme coin would be the primary sponsor of his 2022 season, causing LGBCoin's value to spike by 75%. Brown's statement featured comments from Koutoulas, who was pictured with Cawthorn just a few hours prior.
Multiple watchdog groups told the Washington Examiner that Cawthorn's Dec. 29 Instagram post suggests the lawmaker may have had advanced nonpublic knowledge of LGBCoin's deal with Brown. The watchdogs said the post, combined with Cawthorn's statement that he owns LGBCoin, warrants an investigation from the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission to determine whether the lawmaker violated federal insider trading laws.
"This looks really, really bad," said Dylan Hedtler-Gaudette, the government affairs manager for Project on Government Oversight, a federal watchdog group. "This does look like a classic case of you got some insider information and acting on that information. And that's illegal."
"I think there's probably a strong case here," Hedtler-Gaudette added. "I don't want to prejudge, but based on everything that's out there, I think there is a very strong possibility that if someone is going to investigate this, they're going to find something."
Craig Holman, a government affairs lobbyist for Public Citizen, said if Cawthorn purchased LGBCoin before Dec. 30 with nonpublic knowledge of the cryptocurrency's pending deal with Brown, that would constitute insider trading, a federal crime that can involve prison time.
Immediately following Brown's Dec. 30 announcement, the value of all LGBCoin in circulation eclipsed $570 million. By the end of January, the market cap of the meme coin dropped to $0.
Koutoulas said in a Feb. 20 livestream that two factors led to LGBCoin's precipitous decline: First, NASCAR rejected LGBCoin's sponsorship deal with Brown on Jan. 4, and then later that month, unidentified insiders that owned an outsize share of the coin dumped all their holdings at once, causing the coin's market value to evaporate.
The swift rise and fall of the meme coin led one jilted investor to file a class-action lawsuit in April accusing Koutoulas and other LGBCoin insiders of using the digital currency to orchestrate a pump-and-dump scheme.
While Cawthorn isn't named as a defendant in the class-action lawsuit, he is identified as one of the coin's celebrity endorsers that helped Koutoulas inflate LGBCoin's market value before the rug was pulled.
Koutoulas relaunched LGBCoin in February, claiming the second iteration of the meme coin came with restrictions preventing "whales," or people with significant holdings in the coin, from offloading all their coins at once.
Since its relaunch in February, LGBCoin has traded around 95% below the peak price set in late December.
Despite the poor performance of the meme coin, Cawthorn has continued to tour the nation with Koutoulas, promote his ownership of the coin, and urge his followers to purchase the asset.
"I got Let's Go Brandon coin," Cawthorn said at the Conservative Political Action Conference, according to a video Koutoulas posted to his Instagram page in late February. "It's working out well, very well."
Cawthorn promoted the coin again with Koutoulas in March during the American Freedom Tour in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
"This is going to the moon, baby! To the moon!" Cawthorn said while pointing to an LGBCoin logo pinned to Koutoulas's suit jacket. "Letsgobrandon.com-- get on the train. Get on the train. Take the power of currency away from the government."
Also in March, Cawthorn appeared with Koutolulas at Freedom Fight Night in Miami. The two were pictured inside a UFC-like arena pointing at the LGBCoin logo.
"The blood on the logo is from the guys that sold the dip," Koutoulas said on Instagram.
...Lawmakers are required to disclose if they purchase over $1,000 worth of any cryptocurrencies, but Cawthorn has not filed any disclosures indicating he owns LGBCoin.
...Amid his public promotion of LGBCoin, Cawthorn used his authority as a lawmaker to introduce a resolution in the House in February that would "deregulate cryptocurrencies and incentivize blockchain innovation."
While Cawthorn's proposed resolution lacked any specifics, Holman said Cawthorn could have run afoul of the STOCK Act if he introduced the measure for his own financial benefit.