Madison Cawthorn

November: Political newcomer Madison Cawthorn, a Republican, defeated Democratic nominee Moe Davis in the 11th District congressional race. Cawthorn won Jackson by a 11,013-9,221 count.

By Dave Russell


Leaders of the 11th Congressional District Democratic Party sent a letter Saturday to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi concerning Representative Madison Cawthorn and his role in the riot at the U.S. Capitol last Wednesday.

The group asks for at the very least censure of Cawthorn, a Henderson County Republican, though expulsion is more suitable, the letter stated.

Lorna Barnett, secretary of the North Carolina District 11 Democratic Party, was the signer from Jackson County.

“We would prefer expulsion, of course,” Barnett said. “He was a part of the rally before the attack on the Capitol and he had an opportunity to speak to the crowd and he encouraged them to fight. Expulsion is one option Speaker Pelosi has in her bag of tools.”

That would be most fitting, she said.

“He just agreed with President Trump that this large group of angry, angry people should march on the Capitol and went further and said the fight was on the floor,” she said. “And if for some reason expulsion is not possible, at the very least he should be formally censured.”

The Jackson County Republican Party condemns the storming of the Capitol, Chairman Jack Debnam said.

But that might be all the two parties agree on.

“Needless to say, we don’t agree with the Democrats,” Debnam said. “Everything right now just seems to have gotten so polarized, it is hard for anybody to say who is right and who is wrong. It depends on which side you’re on. I’m of the mind that neither party needs to be casting stones right now. I think everything just needs to calm down and everybody just get a grip. It’s gotten way out of hand on both sides.

“It just depends on which side of the fence you’re sitting on about how wrong or how right what Mr. Cawthorn decided to say was,” he said. “That was his opinion, and he was entitled to it, as all the other members of Congress are entitled to their opinion.” 

Debnam disagrees with the move to impeach President Donald Trump for his role in the riot.

“Let things die,” he said. “Let things go away. They talk about reconciling, well finishing up this way is not a way to reconcile that I can see. It’s only nine days. What good is impeachment going to do?” 

Cawthorn, a political newcomer and the youngest member of the House, has long been a cheerleader for President Trump. Cawthorn echoed Trump’s claims that his election loss to Joe Biden was due to large-scale fraud and encouraged a crowd to come to Washington on Jan. 6, the day the House and Senate would confirm the Electoral College victory of President-elect Biden.

In their letter to Pelosi, the Democrats “request action to address the seditious behavior of our newly elected Congressman, Madison Cawthorn, on or before the insurrection of January 6, 2021.”

On Jan. 4, Cawthorn tweeted to his 204,000 twitter followers: “January 6th is fast approaching, the future of this Republic hinges on the actions of a solitary few. Get ready, the fate of a nation rests on our shoulders, yours and mine. Let’s show Washington that our backbones are made of steel and titanium. It’s time to fight.”

On Jan. 5, Cawthorn tweeted out “The fate of a nation comes down to the events of tomorrow. This New Republican Party will not back down. I look forward to seeing millions of patriotic Americans stand for their country.”

Addressing Cawthorn’s behavior on stage at the Jan. 6 “March to Save America,” as it was billed by organizers, the letter states “Representative Cawthorn incited the crowd again using violent language and calling his colleagues ‘cowards.’” 

Cawthorn was part of a who’s-who of the election fraud conspiracy theorists, appearing on the stage with Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump Jr. and President Trump.

“Wow, this crowd has some fight in it,” Cawthorn said from the stage. “The founders of our great country saw to it that the people who consent to be governed should have a voice in that government. But my friends, the Democrats, with all the fraud they have done in this election, the Republicans hiding and not fighting, they are trying to silence your voice.”

The Democrats letter states “Cawthorn later issued a tweet encouraging rioters to enter the U.S. Capitol and to join him in his fight when he wrote, ‘I’m fighting a battle for our Constitution on the House floor with other patriots. The battle is on the House floor, not in the streets of D.C.,’” suggesting Cawthorn was extending an invitation for the rioters to enter House chambers.

“Since January 6, in spite of the above, he has repeatedly denied any culpability in the resulting mob action of illegally breaching the security of the Capitol Building, of illegally taking over the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives chambers, of the disruption of Congress’s carrying out its official Constitutional duties, of destruction of federal property, and of inciting mob action resulting in the deaths of five people. Mr. Cawthorn needs to be held accountable for his seditious behavior and for the consequences resulting from said behavior,” the letter stated. “Therefore, we respectfully request that the House of Representatives conduct an investigation for Ethics Violations regarding Mr. Cawthorn’s aforementioned Acts of Sedition,” the letter stated.