Rep. Madison Cawthorn, R-N.C., has had his phone and social media images subpoenaed by the committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection. (Image via House Television/AP) US Rep. Madison Cawthorn
Rep. Madison Cawthorn, R-N.C., has had his phone and social media images subpoenaed by the committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection. (Image via House Television/AP)

The polarizing Republican from western North Carolina implored Trump supporters on Jan. 6, and has called the rioters “political prisoners” in the months since. 

Controversial US Rep. Madison Cawthorn will have to answer some questions about his role in the Jan. 6 rioting at the US Capitol.

Cawthorn, a western North Carolina Republican, is one of 11 in the House GOP whose phone and social media records are being subpoenaed by the House select committee investigating the attack by supporters of former President Donald Trump. 

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The NC congressman spoke to Trump’s supporters at the “Stop The Steal” rally which occurred on the day of the US Capitol riot.

And following the Jan. 6 insurrection, Cawthorn has made his fair share of controversial statements regarding the events. In September, he spoke at a Buncombe County school board meeting and referred to the arrested Capitol rioters as “political prisoners” and said that he would “try and bust them out.” 

When an attendee asked, “When are you going to call us to Washington again?” Cawthorn responded, in part, “We are actively working on that one.” 

Earlier this month, more than 100 people, mainly former Trump officials, received similar subpoenas. Chairman of the House Select Committee Bennie Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat, told reporters that subpoenas for members of Congress were likely to follow. 

The comments at the school board meeting were made months after Cawthorn called the rioters “weak-minded men and women who are unable to check their worst impulses and had very little self-control” in an interview with Ozy Media founder Carlos Watson. 

Like Cawthorn, some of the other House Republicans who received subpoenas have been outspoken in support of the rioters, including Matt Gaetz of Florida, Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, and Louie Gohmert of Texas.