Friday, June 14, 2024

Cawthorn Ordered to Pay $15K for Promoting ‘Brandon’ Crypto Coin

Committee hopes 'that its findings will serve to educate all Members about the laws and rules designed to protect the integrity of the House against conflicts of interest...'

(Jacob Bruns, Headline USA) The House Ethics Committee recommended fining Rep. Madison Cawthorn, R-N.C., more than $14,000 for promoting a cryptocurrency while in office, The Hill reported.

It was alleged that Cawthorn promoted the “Let’s Go Brandon” cryptocurrency while having some personal financial interest in its success.

According to the Ethics Committee, there is “substantial evidence” that Cawthorn promoted the LGBCoin, which constituted a violation of financial conflict-of-interest rules.

He also allegedly bought the cryptocurrency at a rate below its going rate to the general public, a violation of the rules because it would have to be considered a gift.

However, upon investigation, the committee concluded that Cawthorn’s failure to report those investments to the House was not intentional, but was instead a matter of negligence on his part.

He has been instructed to send his $14,237.49 fine to “an appropriate charitable organization” by Dec. 31, while also sending $1,000 in late fees to the Treasury Department within 14 days of the report’s release.

But the report also noted that it may have little pull in enforcing Cawthorn to comply with the directive.

“Representative Cawthorn did not win reelection to the House for the 118th Congress and,
accordingly, the Committee will lose jurisdiction over him soon,” said the report.

However, it said it hoped “that its findings will serve to educate all Members about the laws and rules designed to protect the integrity of the House against conflicts of interest, including as they apply to digital assets.”

Of course, the Ethics Committee investigated Cawthorn vigorously while flat-out ignoring the blatant violations of the House’s higher-ranking members, such as the notoriously corrupt House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., whose husband, Paul, has made big money as an investor since his wife took office decades ago.

One would also hope that the Committee takes seriously the participation any public officials involved in the recent FTX scandal, but things do not look promising.

Another aspect of the Ethics Committee’s investigation into Cawthorn was related to “sexually themed” conduct with a staffer.

The staffer in question was Stephen Smith, a scheduler in Cawthorn’s office who also was his second cousin according to the congressman himself, as the Ethics Committee report noted.

Representative Cawthorn described one of the videos as ‘just stupid locker room talk between two cousins that grew up like brothers, taken long before I served in Congress,’” the report said.

Though the mainstream media did its best to work those rumors up into a big deal, the Ethics Committee found no evidence of any such behavior on Cawthorn’s part.

The congressman and his staffers all denied the validity of any such allegations at the time, and their denial has been validated.

In any case, the media blitz against the young representative worked. Cawthorn lost his bid for reelection after being primaried by Republican state Sen. Chuck Edwards, who will take his place in D.C. this January.

Headline USA’s Ben Sellers contributed to this report.

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