Cawthorn draws ethics complaint after altercation with McKinley’s staff

Rep. David McKinley’s (R-W.V.) office filed a complaint with the House Ethics Committee against freshman Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) after a verbal altercation with a staffer over a mixup on his name being put on the wrong piece of legislation.

The incident took place just ahead of a heated confrontation between McKinley and Cawthorn on the House floor, with some saying it appeared the two lawmakers were on the brink of a physical brawl.

A source with direct knowledge of the incident in McKinley’s office said Cawthorn entered uninvited and demanded to have his name taken off the piece of legislation, which related to drug pricing in low-income, rural communities, but he believed was related to abortion.

After being told by an aide that his staff has received directions on how to have Cawthorn’s name removed, and he was informed it was not related to abortion, he said he was “looking for a fight today” and “implied he would introduce pro-abortion bills just to put (your) boss’s name on them.”

A McKinley staffer apologized to Cawthorn for the confusion over the cosponsorship, the source added.

Rep. Cawthorn got into a heated confrontation at the Capitol with one of McKinley's staffers.
Rep. Cawthorn got into a heated confrontation at the Capitol with one of McKinley’s staffers.
© Jay Mallin/ZUMA Wire

According to the source, Cawthorn was told by staff that he would have to discuss the matter with McKinley who was on the House floor, to which Cawthorn replied by calling the West Virginia Republican “the guy with the mustache that nobody f—ing knows. He also threatened to back a primary challenger against McKinley during their squabble on the House floor.

They added that Cawthorn got “in the face” of the staffer before saying “don’t raise your voice at me. I’m a member of Congress.” Sources confirmed they had not raised their voice at the North Carolina Republican.

Cawthorn later attempted to smooth things over with the staffer in a note obtained by The Post.

“I do not wish for any ill will between our offices. I hear you are a skilled [staffer’s position] and I feel fortunate to have you in this movement. I hope we can put our differences behind us and that our offices can focus on our true adversaries [sic] threatening our republic,” he wrote.

Cawthorn wrote a letter of apology to the staffer.
Cawthorn wrote a letter of apology to the staffer.

“If I can ever be of assistance to you please do not hesitate to reach out, if it is in my power I will happily help. Your ally, Rep. Madison Cawthorn.”

It’s unclear whether the House Ethics Committee will move forward with an investigation.

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