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Madison Cawthorn Slapped With Another Ethics Complaint After Being Caught On Video With Staffer’s Hand On His Crotch

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Madison Cawthorn

Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) has been hit with a new ethics complaint a day after a video first reported by The Daily Mail showed Cawthorn speaking about suggestive topics in an exaggerated accent as his male scheduler’s hand reaches for his crotch.

The complaint, filed by a political action committee seeking to unseat him, hits the embattled lawmaker with a host of accusations and recent controversies, including his twice being found with a loaded gun at airport security and his promotion of a cryptocurrency.

The complaint was filed with the Office of Congressional Ethics this week by the anti-Cawthorn American Muckrakers PAC, commonly known as Fire Madison, and comes less than three weeks ahead of the May 17 GOP primaries.

Among the allegations, the complaint raises concerns about Cawthorn’s financial and personal relationship with his scheduler, accompanied by screenshots of social media posts, Venmo transactions and records demonstrating that they lived together. It claims that Cawthorn gave his scheduler free rent, paid for him to go on trips, and lent him money, all without disclosing it. That constitutes a violation of House ethics rules, it alleges, but there is plenty of ambiguity about the situation.

As noted by The Daily Mail, Cawthorn’s scheduler, Stephen Smith, is his distant cousin and Cawthorn described Smith as “the grandson of my grandmother’s sister” in a 2017 deposition related to a lawsuit seeking insurance damages from his car crash – the crash that put him in a wheelchair.

Social media posts show that they have been close for years and went on overseas trips together before Cawthorn ever ran for office. In one 2019 Instagram post, Smith described helping Cawthorn with physical therapy.

Cawthorn said in the 2017 deposition that the two were roommates, and a Federal Election Commission payment record showed Smith using Cawthorn’s address in December 2021.

A spokesman for Cawthorn confirmed that the two used to be roommates, but said that they are not any longer. Cawthorn has not reported receiving rental income on financial disclosure reports, so it is unclear if Smith paid rent.

Check the video reported by The Daily Mail below.