Why Madison Cawthorn Might Be the First Lawmaker Punished for Embracing the Jan. 6 Insurrection

Rep. Madison Cawthorn, R-N.C., is facing a challenge to this 2022 candidacy because of his embrace of Jan. 6 insurrectionists. (Image via House Television/AP)

By Billy Ball

January 26, 2022

A new report in the N.Y. Times dives into Cawthorn’s support for the Capitol insurrectionists who attempted to overthrow the presidential election. At least 7 people died in connection to the riots.

North Carolina’s embattled Congressman Madison Cawthorn might be the first lawmaker to face legal consequences for embracing Jan. 6 insurrectionists, The N.Y. Times wrote Wednesday.

The Times report dove into the attempt to nix Cawthorn’s re-election campaign, pointing to a provision in the U.S. Constitution disqualifying candidates who participated in “insurrection or rebellion” against the country.

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Cawthorn, who spoke at former President Trump’s Jan. 6 rally, has continually repeated Trump’s lies about a stolen election and even hinted at “bloodshed” to come. He’s also referred to arrested Jan. 6 insurrectionists as “political hostages.”

“It should not be difficult to prove you are not an insurrectionist,” John R. Wallace, an attorney on the case, told the Times. “It only seems to be difficult for Madison Cawthorn.”

A lawyer representing embattled North Carolina Congressman Madison Cawthorn in his insurrectionist case says the attempt to disqualify Cawthorn’s re-election campaign is the “real threat to democracy.” 

It’s an interesting take, given Cawthorn himself is accused of attempting to undermine democracy.


  • Billy Ball

    Billy Ball is Cardinal & Pine's senior community editor. He’s covered local, state and national politics, government, education, criminal justice, the environment and immigration in North Carolina for almost two decades, winning state, regional and national awards for his reporting and commentary.

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