Democratic state leaders in North Carolina want to see Rep. Madison Cawthorn, the youngest member of Congress, booted for what they allege was “seditious behavior” ahead of the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol Building.
In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democrats from the lawmaker’s district argued he “needs to be held accountable for his seditious behavior and for consequences resulting from said behavior.”
The Democrats claim he used “violent language” on Twitter last week prior to the riot.
"We will not tolerate misinformation, conspiracy theories, and lies from our Representatives,” the letter continued.
If getting two-thirds of the House to vote for expelling him could not be reached, they asked Pelosi to censure him.
Dear Madam Speaker,
On behalf of the Democratic Party of North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District, we respectfully request action to address the seditious behavior of our newly elected Congressman, Madison Cawthorn, on or before the insurrection of January 6, 2021:
(1) Mr. Cawthorn’s Twitter feed leading up to January 6 was filled with strong, violent language encouraging his supporters to go to the Capitol to demonstrate their patriotism and show “what their spines are made of.”
(2) In a speech to the crowd at the rally immediately before the Capitol was attacked, Representative Cawthorn incited the crowd again using violent language and calling his colleagues “cowards.”
(3) He later issued a Tweet encouraging rioters to enter the U.S. Capitol and to join him in his fight when he wrote, “I’m fighting a battle for our Constitution on the House floor with other patriots. The battle is on the House floor, not in the streets of D.C.”
(4) Since January 6, in spite of the above, he has repeatedly denied any culpability in the resulting mob action of illegally breaching the Security of the Capitol Building, of illegally taking over the US Senate and House of Representatives chambers, of the disruption of Congress’s carrying out its official Constitutional duties, of destruction of federal property, and of inciting mob action resulting in the deaths of five people.
Mr. Cawthorn needs to be held accountable for his seditious behavior and for the consequences resulting from said behavior. The voters of North Carolina deserve the truth from our elected officials. We will not tolerate misinformation, conspiracy theories, and lies from our Representatives.
Therefore, we respectfully request hat the House of Representatives conduct an investigation for Ethics Violations regarding Mr. Cawthorn’s aforementioned Acts of Sedition. If the 2/3rds vote necessary for expulsion can not be secured, we request that the House of Representatives formally censure Mr. Cawthorn on behalf of his constituents in the 11th Congressional District.
Kathy Sinclair, ChairNC 11th Congressional District Democrats – Buncombe County
Clay Eddleman,1st Vice Chair – Henderson County
Karen Smith, 3rd Vice Chair – Macon County
Lorna Barnett, Secretary – Jackson County
Gayle Wayne, Treasurer – Henderson County
In response, Cawthorn's campaign office said the Democrats "have no moral authority to speak up now when they were silent" during the summer riots.
"Unlike NC-11 Democrats, Madison Cawthorn condemns mob violence under any banner. NC-11 Democrats were silent when left-wing mobs attacked civilians, businesses and law enforcement in Asheville," his campaign office told WLOS in response to the letter. "They have no moral authority to speak up now when they were silent then.
“Cawthorn has condemned the abhorrent violence on January 6. He has criticized President Trump for directing protestors toward the Capitol and repeatedly told protestors that the legal pathway to address their concerns was through debate on the house floor, by their elected representatives, not violence in the streets of the Capital,” the statement continued. “Principled conservatives disagreed about the 2020 election. But debating whether Congress should accept or reject electoral votes in states that may have ignored their own laws was entirely appropriate and legal under our Constitution.”
The letter comes as Pelosi warned that any lawmaker found to be "accomplices to this insurrection" may have to be prosecuted."