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Rep. Madison Cawthorn discloses Let’s Go Brandon cryptocurrency buy

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Newly elected U.S. Rep Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) speaks as supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump gather by the White House ahead of Trump’s speech to contest the certification by the U.S. Congress of the outcomes of the 2020 U.S. presidential election in Washington, U.S, January 6, 2021. 

Jim Bourg | Reuters

Rep. Madison Cawthorn on Friday belatedly disclosed suspected cryptocurrency transactions that earlier this month led the House Ethics Committee to open an investigation into the North Carolina Republican’s possible promotion of an asset he secretly owned.

Cawthorn, 26, revealed Friday that he bought between $100,000 and $250,000 value of “Let’s Go Brandon” cryptocurrency on Dec. 21. The transaction got here eight days before he wrote a Dec. 29 Instagram post that said, “Tomorrow we go to the moon,” in response to a photograph of him posing with co-founders of the coin.

A day later, the dollar value of that crypto — which is called after a derogatory phrase about President Joe Biden — soared 75% on news of its sponsorship cope with a NASCAR driver.

The identical filing Friday disclosed that the first-term congressman sold between $100,000 and $250,000 of the “Let’s Go Brandon” coin on Dec. 31.

That sale potentially recouped at the least what he had paid for the virtual currency before its dollar price exploded.

The worth of the Let’s Go Brandon coin collapsed in early January after NASCAR rejected its sponsorship cope with the driving force Brandon Brown.

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Cawthorn’s disclosure of the transactions got here 4 days after the House Ethics Committee announced it was investigating the North Carolina Republican over his Instagram comment in regards to the “Let’s Go Brandon” coin.

In the identical House financial disclosure form filing Friday, Cawthorn also belatedly revealed that he had bought between $1,000 and $15,000 value of Ethereum cryptocurrency on Dec. 27, and between $1,000 and $250,000 of Ethereum on Dec. 31.

Under the federal STOCK Act, members of Congress are legally required to file disclosures of the acquisition and sale of stocks, bonds, commodity futures and other securities inside 45 days of the transactions.

Cawthorn’s disclosure Friday got here five months after the transactions he detailed. It also got here nearly two weeks after he narrowly lost a GOP primary, denying him the party’s nomination for a second term in office.

A spokesman for Cawthorn didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment from CNBC.

Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., in late April called for the ethics probe to analyze Cawthorn for possible insider trading related to cryptocurrency after The Washington Examiner reported the congressman can have broken laws barring investors from profiting on nonpublic information.

Cawthorn angered fellow Republicans in Congress earlier this yr by claiming older colleagues invited him to orgies and used cocaine in front of him.

On Monday after the House Ethics Committee announced that it authorized an investigation on May 11, Cawthorn’s chief of staff, Blake Harp, said, “We welcome the chance to prove that Congressman Cawthorn committed no wrongdoing and that he was falsely accused by partisan adversaries for political gain.”

“Our office is not deterred within the slightest from completing the job the patriots of Western North Carolina sent us to Washington to perform,” Harp added.

Cawthorn later tweeted Monday: “Wow — I have to still be an issue for the swamp! They’re still coming after me!”

Along with the cryptocurrency comment, Cawthown is being investigated over questions on whether he had an “improper relationship” with an individual employed on his congressional staff, the panel said.

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