On Tuesday, NBC News reported that outgoing Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) has been ordered by the House Ethics Committee to pay a $15,000 fine, made out to charity, over his improper promotion of an anti-Joe Biden themed cryptocurrency scheme.
"The fine caps an investigation announced in May that looked into whether the scandal-plagued lawmaker touted a cryptocurrency known as a Let's Go Brandon coin in which he had a financial interest, and whether he engaged in 'an improper relationship' with an aide on his congressional staff," reported Zoë Richards. "The committee said in its 81-page report that it did not find evidence of improprieties between Cawthorn and the staffer."
"However, the subcommittee that conducted the probe said Cawthorn violated rules against conflicts of interest surrounding the cryptocurrency and directed him to pay $14,237.49 to an appropriate charitable organization by Dec. 31," said the report. "It also found that Cawthorn, 27, failed to file timely reports to the House 'disclosing his transactions relating to the cryptocurrency.' And even though the panel determined that he did not knowingly fail to file the disclosures in a timely fashion, he was still required by law to pay $1,000 to the Treasury Department in late fees."
"Let's Go Brandon" is a popular phrase coined by Trump supporters which is code for "F**k Joe Biden" — so called because NASCAR fans chanting the profane phrase were misheard by a sports announcer to be cheering their support for driver Brandon Brown.
"The House probe came after an April complaint filed with the Office of Congressional Ethics by the American Muckrakers PAC citing a Washington Examiner article that named 'multiple watchdog groups' suggesting the first-term lawmaker may have violated insider trading laws in an alleged cryptocurrency scheme," said the report.
Cawthorn lost his bid for re-nomination earlier this year after Republicans in North Carolina, tired of his antics and baseless attacks on fellow GOP members, endorsed state Sen. Chuck Edwards for his seat instead.