The chair of a political action group calling for North Carolina Rep. Madison Cawthorne to resign filed an ethics complaint against the congresswoman on Wednesday. Cawthorn “failed to provide necessary financial disclosures to the House of Representatives regarding gifts and loans to Congressman’s dispatcher, Mr. Stephen L. Smith,” according to the complaint.
Cawthorn and Smith lived together, according to American Muckrakers PAC Chairman David Wheeler, who shared screenshots of Cawthorn’s registered address in Hendersonville, North Carolina, and cross-referenced Smith’s in the FEC filing. Registration address
The sole stated purpose of the US Muckrakers PAC is to guarantee that Cawthorn’s “first term is his last.” The day after the complaint was filed, the Daily Mail and an anti-Trump Twitter account released an undated video showing Cawthorn joking with a man in a car. The Daily Mail reported that the other man was Cawthorn organizer Smith, who Wheeler had named in his ethics complaint. Complaint includes video link.
“I felt the passion and the desire to see a naked body under my hands,” Cawthorn said in the video.
Then the person filming replied, “Me too. I want to see that too,” while turning on the camera. The comment made Cawthorn laugh, before another filmed himself placing his hand on the lawmaker’s groin.
Wheeler also posted several screenshots of alleged Venmo payments between Cawthorn and Smith. The images shared show the pair’s messages between June 17, 2018 and January 9, 2019 — before Smith joined Cawthorne as an adviser to run for Congress in January 2020.
In the screenshots, some of the payments that Cawthorn sent to Smith contained tags such as “Move out of Sweden for me,” “What we did in Amsterdam,” and “The airport was in a hurry.”
Some of Smith’s payments to Cawthorn were labelled “Love Me Every Night” and “Nude.” “The committee was asked to investigate whether the relationship between Rep. Cawthorn and his domestic servant, Mr. Stephen L. Smith, violated any house rules or bylaws,” Wheeler wrote in the complaint.
A representative for Cawthorn called the complaint against Cawthorn “ridiculous.” “Stephen is his cousin — they’re a family,” the Cawthorn representative said. “The PAC that made the complaint did not investigate.”