Rep. Madison Cawthorn continues his swirling descent into the hearts and minds of MAGA world. In recent weeks, Cawthorn has been on a dunderheaded tear. First, there was the video of him attacking Ukraine and its leadership, projecting all of his and the GOP’s corruptions onto the country that Donald Trump attempted to extort for domestic political gain. Then, there was a clip of him seeming to slander Speaker Nancy Pelosi to an audience, promoting a debunked conspiracy theory while asserting some pretty outrageous claims.
These latest two stains on American discourse are just the newest examples of how unfit for Congress Mr. Cawthorn is. However, the newest clip to resurface brings up the very serious—and truly actionable—question over whether the North Carolina Republican should be facing a very real investigation into his actions on Jan. 6, 2021.
In the days after the insurrection at the Capitol building on Jan. 6, Cawthorn came under scrutiny for a few reasons. He was one of the speakers at the rally held shortly before the attempted coup d’etat, where he told the crowd assembled: “My friends, the Democrats, with all of the fraud they have done in this election, the Republicans hiding and not fighting, they are trying to silence your voice.”
He also spoke with Smoky Mountain News shortly after the events of the day, where he explained how he and a few others were separated from the main evacuation from the House Chambers that day because he needed to take a different route on account of his wheelchair. “Fortunately, I was armed, so we would have been able to protect ourselves.”*
It is against the law for representatives to carry firearms onto the House floor. And while it is legal for Cawthorn and others (see: Lauren Boebert and Marjorie Taylor Greene) to have firearms in their offices, how exactly Cawthorn was able to be evacuated from the House chambers and then get possession of his firearm remains a mystery.
Cawthorn was able to successfully stay mum about the whole thing in the weeks proceeding the events at the Capitol, and things moved on.
On Monday, a clip of Madison Cawthorn calling into Charlie Kirk’s web-broadcasted show on Jan. 6, 2021, has ressurfaced. Kirk is best known as the aging “young conservative” who made Trumpian waves with his Turning Point USA organization. In the clip, Cawthorn says he is safe and armed. Later on in the interview, Kirk, giddy in the way people like Charlie Kirk are giddy for guns, remarks that because of Cawthorn and Boebert, there are more Congress members walking around with murder machines. Cawthorn then says this strange thing:
“So, you know, obviously having the wheelchair, I’m able to carry many [sic] multiple weapons at one time. So, you know, everyone around me is armed and, you know, I think an armed society is a polite society. So I feel very safe.”
Wonder how that gibes with Ashley Babbitt getting shot and killed. Would Cawthorn call Ms. Babbit “impolite”? Maybe.
More importantly, why would he be carrying “multiple guns,” and is he carrying “multiple guns” in order to arm people around him? If so, are they legally allowed to have guns? This is the kind of thing that someone who plans on shooting a lot of people does. While I disagree with the idea that any of the representatives in the Capitol building should be armed, it’s one thing to say, “Better safe than sorry!” But that means you carry one umbrella in your bag in case it rains—you don’t walk around with multiple umbrellas just in case it rains.
As Science Matters pointed out, Alyssa Harp—wife of Cawthorn’s chief of staff, William “Blake” Harp—posted this just a couple of days before the insurrection.
Who knows? May just be nothing. All these young folks reaching for power seem to be so very religious. Back to Madison and the Jan. 6, Charlie Kirk interview. This part is interesting to me: “As you know, I believe in the Second Amendment, as well as a lot of other members, so we are armed.” I mean, I personally believe the Second Amendment exists. I have a great deal of ambivalence about it, but it sounds to me like Cawthorn believes in the Second Amendment the way some people believe Jesus was resurrected by God. I mean, that’s like the First Commandment!
I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me.
Meanwhile, Rep. Cawthorn seems to be feeling the heat from his political party.
Here’s a solid set of responses.
*Side note: In this Jan. 7, interview, Cawthorn did agree that Trump’s inflammatory comments about the election being stolen were a factor in what happened on Jan. 6, though he maintained that “I can't personally prove fraud and I have really not seen an overwhelming amount of evidence for it, but what I can prove is that the Constitution was definitely subverted and circumvented.”