- Cawthorn said the "Let's Go Brandon" coin would moon the day before a NASCAR driver claimed a sponsorship affiliation.
- The coin nosedived shortly thereafter.
Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-SC) lost a recent primary race in the wake of outrageous behavior that included repeatedly breaking the law and accusing fellow members of Congress of engaging in orgies and cocaine use. Now, he has one more headache: The House Committee on Ethics has launched an investigation into his crypto dealings and an alleged dalliance with a staffer.
In a statement issued Monday, the committee wrote that Cawthorn "may have improperly promoted a cryptocurrency in which he may have had an undisclosed financial interest, and engaged in an improper relationship with an individual employed on his congressional staff."
The crypto investigation appears related to Cawthorn's involvement in the short-lived "Let's Go Brandon" coin, which invoked a meme used to mock President Joe Biden but soon after emerged as a scam.
Cawthorn is alleged to have helped orchestrate a pump-a-dump in part by posting "LGB legends. ... Tomorrow we go to the moon!" on Instagram in late December, a day before the value of the currency soared when a NASCAR driver said the token project would sponsor him.
The LGB coin soared after the announcement, briefly reaching a market cap of $570 million. But it soon collapsed to nothing after NASCAR rejected the sponsorship, and once it became apparent that a group of insiders had sold all their holdings after the initial announcement.
It's unclear what, if any, consequences the House probe will have for Cawthorn, who will leave Congress in January. According to sources cited by Business Insider, the committee is largely ineffective but does have the power to expel him prior to the end of his term.
Even if the House investigation fizzles, Cawthorn could face further trouble from the SEC or Justice Department if he was involved in fraud or insider trading.
Cawthorn, the youngest sitting member of Congress, had been a rising star in the Republican party and received a recent endorsement from former President Donald Trump. But his personal conduct led GOP leaders in the House and his home state of South Carolina to disavow him and campaign against him.
In response to his defeat, Cawthorn declared, “It’s time for the rise of the new right, it’s time for Dark MAGA to truly take command."
It's unclear if this new era of Dark MAGA will involve a token.