Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) is facing a two-pronged congressional ethics investigation on his way out of the political door, including a probe into allegations are that he behaved inappropriately with a congressional staffer.
Additionally, the one-term congressman is facing scrutiny for his promotion of a cryptocurrency in which Cawthorn and those involved have been accused of running a pump-and-dump scheme.
That said, Rachel Maddow producer Steve Benen argues in his latest column that a congressional ethics probe runs the risk of running out of time before Cawthorn leaves Congress in the coming months.
At that point, notes Benen, the Ethics Committee won't have the jurisdiction to do anything about it.
Benen argues that after his defeat, the place for accountability is the Justice Department and wasting the time of the Ethics Committee will be futile.
"There’s a difference between congressional ethics scrutiny and legal scrutiny," Bene writes. "If law enforcement were to take an interest in the congressman’s activities, it would not matter whether the Republican was in office or not."