North Carolina's Republican Party hasn't shown any interest in sanctioning newly elected Rep. Madison Cawthorn over numerous claims of sexual misconduct made against him.
More than 150 students and graduates from Patrick Henry College signed a letter during Cawthorn's campaign calling the 25-year-old a sexual "predator," but the state GOP hasn't taken any steps to censure the staunchly pro-Trump freshman lawmaker, reported the Washington Post.
"I think hell freezes over before they say something," said Bob Orr, a former North Carolina Supreme Court justice who lives in Cawthorn's district. "He's a Trump ally. He's a darling of CPAC, and so they are in no way, shape or form going to be saying or doing things that are potentially detrimental to Cawthorn or anybody else that supports Trump."
Orr dropped his Republican Party affiliation of 45 years last month, after the state GOP censured Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) for his vote to convict Trump in his second impeachment trial, but the state party has so far refused to comment on the allegations against Cawthorn.
"I don't want to talk about that on the record," Michael Whatley, chairman of the state party.
A recent Post investigation quoted three women on the record who accused Cawthorn of inappropriate behavior toward them, including a forcible kiss described as an assault, and scores of Patrick Henry classmates and graduates denounced the GOP lawmaker, who attended the religious college for only one semester before dropping out.
"It is what you would expect from a Trumpified party," said Peter Wehner, who served in the Reagan administration and both Bush administrations. "One of the regrettable lessons Republicans have learned from the Trump years is there's no need to apologize. The shame or embarrassment can get in the way of your political ascendancy. They don't feel the need to explain themselves because might makes right."
The national GOP and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy declined to comment on the allegations against Cawthorn or whether he might face any consequences from the party, but his constituents say they're "embarrassed" by their new representative.
"[Cawthorn is] just mimicking Trump in how he approaches things," said Chuck McGrady, who was a GOP state representative in part of Cawthorn's district until last year. "Step away from the cult of personality and then you get criticized. There seems to be very little in the way of accountability."