- The Washington Times - Friday, January 22, 2021

Liberals are frothing mad at Rep. Madison Cawthorn’s statements on social media about his alleged athletic training and about the 2020 election in advance of the riot at the Capitol earlier this month. 

No committee assignments are listed for the freshman North Carolina Republican on the office of the clerk of the House of Representatives website or Mr. Cawthorn’s website, but he has already managed to become a lightning rod for controversy. 

On Friday, the Nation magazine published a profile of Mr. Cawthorn accusing him of exaggerating his training for the 2020 Paralympic Games. The article noted that Mr. Cawthorn did not compete in qualifying competitions for the games and alleged that Mr. Cawthorn had, “misled the public about training for the Paralympics, just as he misrepresented his education and business history.”

“Cawthorn frequently said on social media that he was ‘training’ for the Paralympic Games. Technically, such a statement could be true—but only in the sense that I could be training for the Olympic Games,” wrote Sara Luterman, freelance journalist, in the Nation. 

Mr. Cawthorn’s staff pushed back against such criticism on Friday. 

“Rep. Cawthorn trained for the 400 meters with the goal of competing in the Tokyo Olympics,” said Micah Bock, Mr. Cawthorn’s spokesperson, in an email. “Due to a back muscle injury, he was unable to continue pursuing that dream. Rep. Cawthorn’s journey from car crash to Congress was not an easy one, and his desire to compete in the Tokyo Olympics further underscores the passion Congressman Cawthorn has always possessed to represent his country.”

In addition to complaints about his athletic pursuits, others have called for Mr. Cawthorn’s resignation stemming from his commentary in advance of the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol. Mr. Cawthorn has raised objections to the 2020 election, and tweeted about his objections and decision to contest the election results in advance of the riot. 

On Thursday, approximately 30 protesters gathered outside his North Carolina office and demanded his resignation, according to WXII, an NBC affiliate.  

On Friday, government watchdog group Campaign for Accountability (CfA) asked the Office of Congressional Ethics to investigate whether Mr. Cawthorn violated federal law by “inciting a riot as part of a seditious conspiracy to use force to prevent Congress from carrying out its constitutional and statutory duties to count the votes of the Electoral College.”

The watchdog group also asked for investigations of Republican Reps. Andy Biggs of Arizona and Paul Gosar of Arizona in the same letter, and has previously sent similar letters about other GOP lawmakers. 

Mr. Bock declined to comment on the group’s complaint and directed The Washington Times to previous social media posts from the congressman. 

“I strongly condemn all acts of violence and urge protestors to only engage in PEACEFUL protests,” said Mr. Cawthorn on Twitter on Jan. 6. “The storming of the Capitol today was a reprehensible act and unacceptable in this country. Pray for our country.”

• Ryan Lovelace can be reached at rlovelace@washingtontimes.com.

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