Far-right GOP Rep. Madison Cawthorn faces multiple fresh scandals

Cawthorn was shown in a video allegedly naked in bed with another man and supposedly gave his second cousin Stephen Smith over $141,000 from taxpayers and campaign donors.

 US Representative Madison Cawthorn speaks during a rally hosted by former US president Donald Trump in Selma, North Carolina, US. April 9, 2022. (photo credit: Erin Siegal McIntyre/Reuters)
US Representative Madison Cawthorn speaks during a rally hosted by former US president Donald Trump in Selma, North Carolina, US. April 9, 2022.
(photo credit: Erin Siegal McIntyre/Reuters)

Controversial Republican Congressman (NC) Madison Cawthorn has been hit by yet another set of scandals, this time with a video clip being shared over social media that allegedly depicted him as a younger man in bed with another man as well as giving a close relative and adviser over $141,000 in funds from taxpayers and campaign donors, US media has reported.

The first scandal, that of the naked video, emerged earlier last week and seemed to be a shocking blow against the 26-year-old North Carolina lawmaker, who has been extremely vocal in the past about his devout and traditional Christian beliefs and has urged the US government to uphold Christian principles. 

Cawthorn was quick to comment on the matter.

"A new hit against me just dropped," he tweeted. "Years ago, in this video, I was being crass with a friend, trying to be funny. We were acting foolish, and joking. That's it. I'm NOT backing down. I told you there would be a drip drip campaign. Blackmail won't win. We will."

The release of this video followed the release of images that depicted him wearing women's lingerie. He claimed it was part of a game held on cruises.

Regarding the financial scandal, this one was derived from congressional and campaign payroll records and showed Cawthorn paying Stephen Smith, his second cousin and adviser, the money over an eight-month period, as reported by local media.

Cawthorn also referred to Smith as family and his "best friend."

Congressmen hiring immediate family members is illegal in the US, but this doesn't extend to second cousins. As such, the scandal isn't actually illegal, per se — something legal experts have noted. 

Nonetheless, the relationship between Cawthorn and Smith has become the basis for a recent congressional ethics complaint filed against him by the American Muckrakers PAC, a nonprofit political action committee that is "dedicated solely to ensuring that North Carolina Congressman Madison Cawthorn's first term in office is his last," as noted on their website, firemadison.com.

The complaint, which can be read here, further shared social media posts and videos that showed the two making suggestive sexual comments and even something that could be construed as inappropriate touching. 

The congressman commented on all this on Twitter on Saturday.

"This past week, the media has tried to annihilate my political career, attacked my chief of staff for having multiple sources of income, attacked my scheduler for *making a salary*" he tweeted.

"We're all in our 20s. Trying to make a difference in politics. And we'll keep fighting."

Cawthorn has also been riddled other with scandals in the past, such as posing for pictures while vacationing at Nazi leader Adolf Hitler’s retreat in Germany, talking about converting Jews to Christianity, calling Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky a thug, saying that other GOP lawmakers invited him to cocaine-fueled orgies and being caught with a loaded gun at an airport on more than one occasion.

All this comes in the run-up to the US mid-term elections, which are set to take place on November 8. However, before this, Cawthorn will have to contend with his party's primary, which is set for May 17.