UPDATED: Cawthorn challenges election results before, after Capitol riots

ELECTORAL OBJECTIONS: Rep. Madison Cawthorn objects to the certification of Pennsylvania's electoral college votes just after midnight on Jan. 7. Screen capture from C-Span

Editor’s note, Jan. 7, 9:47 a.m.: Following the emergency recess of the joint session of Congress necessitated by a mob’s attack on the Capitol complex, senators and representatives reconvened around 8 p.m. to continue the process of confirming the Electoral College victory of President-elect Joe Biden. In the legislators’ subsequent deliberations, objections were raised to the certification of votes in Arizona and Pennsylvania. While N.C. senators Richard Burr and Thom Tillis (both Republicans) voted against the objections, Rep. Madison Cawthorn, who represents Western North Carolina, joined 138 of his Republican colleagues (including six from North Carolina) in voting in favor. The motions failed, and Biden’s victory was certified by Congress.

The full transcript of Cawthorn’s brief remarks to the House of Representatives shortly after midnight on Jan. 7 is printed below. 

Even before being sworn in as Western North Carolina’s congressional representative on Jan. 3, Madison Cawthorn had made national news for one of his first plans upon taking office. In a Jan. 1 video that repeated multiple debunked allegations of election fraud, the Hendersonville Republican said he would object to the ratification by Congress of President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory over incumbent President Donald Trump.

When Congress met in joint session on Jan. 6, Cawthorn was among the more than 50 representatives and eight senators, all Republicans, who issued a formal challenge to certifying results from Arizona. But his action was soon overshadowed by other supporters of the president: a rioting crowd that clashed with Capitol police, broke into legislative chambers and forced lawmakers to shelter in place.

After police placed the Capitol on lockdown, Cawthorn tweeted for an end to the violence. “We must let Congress work and uphold law and order. We are the party that backs the blue,” he wrote at 3:40 p.m. “I ask you to back the blue now and let the objections continue in accordance with the Constitution.”

Earlier in the day, however, Cawthorn had addressed thousands of Trump supporters at a “Stop the Steal” rally hosted by the president near the White House. During his speech, the freshman representative called colleagues who would not challenge the election results “cowards.” In Trump’s own remarks at the event, the president said, “We’ve got to get rid of the weak congresspeople. The ones that aren’t any good.”

Several of Cawthorn’s previous tweets in recent days have also employed explicitly combative language. “The future of this Republic hinges on the actions of a solitary few,” he wrote on Jan. 4. “Let’s show Washington that our backbones are made of steel and titanium. It’s time to fight.”

“I will put the Republican establishment on my shoulders and drag them kicking and screaming back to the Constitution,” Cawthorn added on Jan. 5.

Asked what Cawthorn had to say regarding the day’s events to his WNC constituents, spokesperson Micah Bock directed Xpress to the representative’s Twitter feed, “where he’s condemned the violence and called for peace.”

Meanwhile, Biden delivered remarks from the Queen Theater in Wilmington, Del., characterizing the riots as “assault on the most sacred of American undertakings: the doing of the people’s business” and called for Trump to demand that the lawlessness stop.

“This is not dissent,” Biden said. “It is disorder. It is chaos. It borders on sedition.”

In a video posted to Twitter shortly after Biden’s speech, Trump called for the mob to “go home now” as a curfew was set to go into effect in Washington at 6 p.m. The president continued on to claim without evidence that the election was stolen and called the rioters “very special.”

 

Rep. Madison Cawthorn’s remarks to the U.S. House of Representatives, Jan. 7:

I want a new generation of Americans to be radicals. To be radicals for freedom and for liberty, but not radicals for violence.

I am bitterly disappointed by the protests that happened yesterday. The actions of a violent few were cowardly and pathetic, and I am not afraid to call it out. The Republican party is the party of limited government. It is the big-tent party. It’s not the party of destruction.

Madame Speaker, the oath I took just days ago demands that I speak out in defense, not of one president or another, but defense of a hallowed document that has safeguarded this republic for over 200 years. The Constitution grants power solely to state legislatures to determine how elections are carried out. When other officials who are not vested with constitutional authority usurp their role and grind the Constitution under their heel, I must object.

Our nation is a nation of resilience. At Valley Forge, George Washington prayed for a republic to be formed from the ashes of a monarchy. At Gettysburg, Americans gave their lives to defend a very simple idea: That the American democracy that had been earned with the blood of their forefathers would not perish due to internal divisions. Then on the islands of Iwo Jima and Okinawa, American servicemen gave their lives to defend this nation’s freedom from fascism.

And what unites every generation of Americans is the idea that those who submit themselves to the authority of government ought to have a voice in that same government. We are Americans here in this chamber and in this country. But what does it really mean to be an American? It means believing in the rule of law. It means speaking up in defense of our founding principles and in defense of the Constitution. Being an American means that you are proud of your country, but that you never beat your chest. And being an American means that sometimes you must stand along while others sit. Now, obviously, I can’t stand, but trust me, if I could stand, I would stand in defense of our Constitution today.

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About Daniel Walton
Daniel Walton is the Assistant Editor of Mountain Xpress, regularly contributing to coverage of Western North Carolina's government, environment and health care. His work has previously appeared in Capital at Play, Edible Asheville, and the Citizen-Times, among other area publications. Follow me @DanielWWalton

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49 thoughts on “UPDATED: Cawthorn challenges election results before, after Capitol riots

  1. Lou

    Disgusting white privilege all over this entitled brat. I hope karma is appropriate.

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  2. gk

    This kid is amazing. There was fraud on many levels and unexplained spikes for Biden. None of the fraud was debunked. You should be ashamed to report that crap Mountain Express.

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    • Per the New York Times (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/26/us/politics/republicans-voter-fraud.html):

      After bringing some 60 lawsuits, and even offering financial incentive for information about fraud, Mr. Trump and his allies have failed to prove definitively any case of illegal voting on behalf of their opponent in court — not a single case of an undocumented immigrant casting a ballot, a citizen double voting, nor any credible evidence that legions of the voting dead gave Mr. Biden a victory that wasn’t his.

      In the single case Mr. Trump won, his campaign challenged a state-ordered deadline extension in Pennsylvania for the submission of personal identification for mailed ballots, affecting a small number of votes.

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    • Jeff

      Horrifying that you think this kid is anything but off course here. Trump lost as fair of an election as he won 4 years ago. It’s that simple. By a patriot and honor our constitution by focusing on moving forward for WNC and the country.

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    • ohiogurl

      Did you listen to Republican elections officials in Georgia systematically debunk every claim the president made about fraud in the election? Every time they’ve gone to court, they’ve been shot down, by Republican as well as Democratically-appointed judges. At the end of the day, you need proof, and we’ve seen none.

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    • Lou

      YOU should be ashamed to call yourself an American. Traitor to the flag is what you and your ilk are. TRAITORS.

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    • Michaelflyfisher

      The only proven voter fraud was 2 republicans voting for deceased family members. There was no wide spread voter fraud. If you have proof, show it. All of supposed “spikes” were anticipated due to the differences on when counties counted mail in ballots, that was well known before the election and we’ll publicized by reputable news organization. The post office manipulation by the trump appointed Post Master General was an attempt by trump to suppress the mail in vote because they knew it was going to be Democratic, people of color and youth, groups likely to be more Democratic. GK, please be careful when someone from the cult passes you the Flavor-Aid.

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      • WNC

        Wide Spread voter fraud?
        Small spreader vote fraud easily swings election! 1 larger city in 5 of the closest states changes the election. Definitely, there were voting irregularities but was it enough to swing election? Neither you nor I know the answer to that.
        As and morning concerning is the fact state officials changed voting processes. This power is granted only to state legislators by the constitution! This must be changed or no right given by the constitution is safe.
        I don’t want anybody to exercise power to change my constitutional rights. Especially Donald Trump or Kamala Harris.

      • rl

        Pathetic comment! The “ entitled brat” had the backbone to stand up for his President and his party—- unlike so many RINOS!

    • Rl

      Well stated! The fraud will be exposed, give it a little time. We need more representatives like Cawthorn in Washington- it is definitely time to drain the swamp from the top down!

  3. Sara Mack

    Cawthorn is as guilty as Trump of lying to and inciting the mob. He ought to be expelled from Congress for his actions before and after the insurrection. He failed to uphold his oath to us, his unfortunate constituents, and this country mere days after having made it.

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  4. Michael Hopping

    The only thing Madison is bitterly disappointed about today is the failure of the Banana Republican coup he participated in at Trump’s rally and later in the House chamber. He has wasted no time in branding his forehead with an unmistakable scarlet letter “F.” Fascist? Failure? Both? Perhaps one day also Felon for his role in the incitement of the insurrection.

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  5. ohiogurl

    Mr Cawthorn likes to drape the Constitution around his shoulders, but the issues raised by members of congress objecting to the electors from the various states should be dealt with at the state level. More than sixty lawsuits have been filed, with no finding in favor of Trump and his supporters. Overburdened elections officials have counted, recounted, hand counted, audited, and systematically addressed every rumor, conspiracy theory, and data point raised by this president and his legal advisors. If these objectors were successful, the result would be to toss out the votes of thousands of voters who cast their ballots in accordance with the rules in place at the time. As so many in the joint session pointed out, voters choose the electors and states manage elections. Congress has no business attempting to subvert the will of the people because they don’t like the outcome.

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  6. LG

    Called his office only to find the voicemail was full. Does any have another phone number for him besides 828-595-9272?

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  7. John

    Madison Cawthorn is way over his head in this. He has no idea what he is talking about or doing other than following Trump’s script. WNC needs someone who represents to needs of his district. Standing shoulder to shoulder with Trump does not show leadership, it’s a puppy dog mentality. Those of you who believe that the election was stolen the nation awaits what evidence you have, even Rudy Giuliani admitted there was no fraud when questioned by a federal judge . Accept the facts, not the hearsay.

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    • Lou

      the only stolen elections were those that favored this neo Nazi, Thom Tillis, and Lindsey Graham…Nazis all. Wanna see them in prison for their treachery.

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  8. Jason Williams

    Cawthorn is like Jar Jar Binks in Attack Of The Clones when he voted to give Supreme Chancellor Palpatine emergency powers.

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  9. Roger

    I’m with a majority of Americans who have a prevailing sense or belief that the system is rigged against the average, ordinary citizen [let’s call them the Working Class). Furthermore, I am unafraid of considering the validity of any and all accumulating evidence, some of which appears in the documentary by Joshua Phillip, an investigative journalist with The Epoch Times, “Who’s Stealing America?” Surely the hyper-partisan comments for this left-wing article don’t expect this matter to go unchallenged or critically investigated…do you? Just wait for the bestsellers that will appear over the next couple of years. Scary? If you’re hyper-partisan, then probably yes.

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      • Roger

        Given the insane tendency of today’s “reputable” news outlets to value partisanship over balanced reporting, how could anyone give kudos to either Williams or Michaelflyfisher for their “brilliant” insight into The Epoch Times’ reputation? No one has defended this source for being “non-biased.” But given the overriding mistrust of “mainstream media,” as it is, there is no shame to be felt in searching for factual information, even from another “non-biased” source, when the “standard” ones are crippled with tarnished, negative ratings? Apparently these responders are blinded by biased views of any source, other than those that give aid and comfort to insane partisan positions. There’s aplenty of bovine crap to be found in every news outlet, especially now that their reputations are manipulated by money and hyper-partisan ownership. I’d rather be a citizen who seeks facts from varying sources, even the biased ones, than one who has a contracted curiosity shriveled by a taste for fabricated reports and unbalanced journalism.

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        • Jason Williams

          The Associated Press, Reuters, NPR, Christian Science Monitor, PBS news, & Al Jazeera for starters.

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          • G Man

            My apologies for making fun of your condition. That was very insensitive of me.

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    • Michaelflyfisher

      The Epoch times is hardly a reputable source of anything except bullshit.

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  10. Austin J Hill

    Madison being our elected official reflects badly on WNC. He is the least qualified person I could imagine. Based on his qualifications, I wouldn’t hire him to clean my toilet, mow my lawn, or perform any other menial task. His resume looks worse than your typical fast food service worker, because he literally has no experience at anything. His election is a result of the incestuous mindset that forces some voters to only vote for their party. Congrats Madison, you finally found a paying gig. It disgusts me knowing I’m paying for it. And now this, your little fascist moment along with all the other fascists.

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    • G Man

      Xiden reflects badly on the country and is hardly qualified for daily life much less running a country. At least we have folks like you to reinforce Joe’s mission of “reuniting” America.

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      • DreadT

        8 years as VP gives no qualifying experience? Guess not if you live in a conspiracy filled echo chamber filled with lies

        • G Man

          No matter what he may or may not have done, or how you want to spin it, the man has all but completely lost his cognitive abilities. He can’t remember or read numbers, he gets lost in the middle of sentences, he makes up words and phrases out of confusion, and his mobility is obviously challenged. He is a figurehead, a puppet being held up by strings connected to lots of rich special interests and a party becoming more radical everyday who know they can push him around because he’s too weak to fight back.

          We shouldn’t even be discussing him because we all know he will never serve out a four year term as POTUS.

          • DreadT

            None of which come close to the tyranny of Grand Wizard Trump.

          • G Man

            So, who lives in an echo chamber?

            Well constructed answer: “Oh, look over there!”

            Please give some specifics about your conspiracy theory.

  11. Peter Robbins

    I’m waiting for them to claim that Trump really won the insurrection. Rigged Revolution!

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  12. theDon

    Madison Cawthorn is a child fascist of the first degree, along with being a poser of the first degree…. his wheelchair and disability are just another prop for him. Don’t believe me? ….here’s what he had to say when voicing/ voting his objection to the electoral college ratification of the Biden/ Harris win the other night::

    Cawthorn gave no evidence as to why the votes should not be accepted, but said unnamed officials were grinding “the Constitution under their heel.”

    He then talked of some of the country’s most well-known battles, including Valley Forge, Gettysburg and Iwo Jima, and a sacrifices by those involved.

    “At Gettysburg, Americans gave their lives to defend a very simple idea that the American democracy that had been earned with the blood of their forefathers would not perish due to internal divisions,” he said.

    Cawthorn, who is partially paralyzed and uses a wheelchair, finished by saying he could not stand, “but trust me if I could stand, I would stand in defense of our Constitution today.”

    ….btw, someone should explain to Madison that most of his ardent constituent’s ancestors here in western NC fought for the Confederacy there at Gettysburg. Do they get any dumber than our adolescent clown congressman?

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  13. bruce Johnson

    The unqualified, defiantly partisan neophyte learns quickly to spin, zig, and zag cozily draped in our flag. Damn the truth, God is still on our side!

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    • Roger

      Are you certain Cawthorn didn’t take lessons from your comments to negative, hyper-partisan news reports that are unbalanced because they spin, zip and zag for hyper-partisan readership?

      • Shultz!

        Your grammar is difficult to understand, but if I read it right I guess the answer would be – I’m pretty certain he didn’t take lessons from a reader after the fact, not unless he’s learned to time travel? Then again, maybe you were just speaking over my head – I know nothing, after all.

        • bsummers

          Your grammar is difficult to understand

          Not all algorithms are created equal, especially the ones written by non-English speakers.
          Ponyat, tovarishch?

          • Roger

            “You’re a regular smart-ass who has made comments on a consistent basis. I’ve seen some pretty awful grammar in the comments you’ve made that, from my view, attempt to be as insulting and as partisan as you can manage to type away at creating. You silly, silly person.

  14. Joel

    Rep. Cawthorn is not only affiliated but he’s integrated into the Trump Rally. Staff usually prescreen events for warning signs that this is political suicide. White Nationalist Flags are in videos. He chose to speak to the crowd – the buck stops with him!

    Rep. Cawthorn chose to announce his Objection to the Electoral College as a paid speaker at TPUSA Conference (West Palm Beach, Florida) instead of within our District with Trump Supporters. Promotion video (4.5 million views) reached Trump evangelists through President Trump’s retweet and endorsement.

    What did we witness? Americans beating up Americans. Five Americans are dead. Permanent photographs. Permanent video. As a result, a Capitol Police Office commits suicide as result of people beating up People He Worked With On A Daily Basis! Mental Trauma!

    Rep. Cawthorn is blatantly selfish. On twitter, cawthornforNC went from 222K to 205.2K. His agenda shifts to social media and “free speech” using a commercial company’s platform.

    Here’s something to think about: Not all, but don’t you think a portion – even a small portion – of the people who beat up the cops – perhaps murdered the cops – followed Rep. Cawthorn on social media?

    Rep. Cawthorn is on record as denying any responsibility. What does that mean to you?

    He spoke at 2 AM ET during Pennsylvania’s Election College debate (and didn’t present at all during the Arizona debate, despite the opportunity for 5 minutes to speak). The “Patriots” (Trump evangelists) are mad at him because he didn’t mention “steal the election.” He didn’t even state the arguments presented in his December video release.

    Another perspective, we don’t need representation from a person who discovered the Constitution last week. The emperor has no clothes and that’s a problem.

  15. James

    Here is a list of business owner contributors to Cawthorne. (Note the Biltmore Company and Wicked Weed) Let these business know how you feel about them supporting sedition.

    All data is taken from fec.gov campaign contributions search:

    WICKED WEED BREWERY ($8,800) – Asheville, NC

    21ST CENTURY ONCOLOGY – Biltmore Lake, NC

    ACADEMIC TRAVEL SERVICES – Hendersonville, NC

    AGAPE SIGNS & GRAPHICS – East Flat Rock, NC

    AMERITECH SLOPE CONSTRUCTORS – Canton, NC

    ANDY PETREE RACING INC – Hendersonville, NC

    AR METALLIZING – Fletcher, NC

    ASHEVILLE RADIOLOGY ASSOC – Asheville, NC

    ASHEVILLE SHUTTLE LLC – Asheville, NC

    BALANCE HOUSE INC – Fairview, NC

    BALDRIDGE INSURANCE & FINANCIAL SERVICES – MEREDITH BALDRIDGE STATE FARM INSURANCE – Brevard, NC

    BARLOW PLUMBING – Asheville, NC

    BCA HOTELS – Asheville, NC

    BEVERLY-HANKS REALTORS – Asheville, NC

    THE BILTMORE COMPANY – Asheville, NC

    BILTMORE FARMS – Asheville, NC

    BLUE RIDGE X-RAY – Fletcher, NC

    BRICK STREET EQUITY MGMT – Asheville, NC

    BRYSON CITY PHARMACY – Bryson City, NC

    C EDWARDS GROUP INC – Flat Rock, NC

    CAMPING WORLD – Hendersonville, NC

    CAROLINA SPINE AND NEUROSURGERY – Asheville, NC

    THE CARPET BARN – Waynesville, NC

    CASON OIL COMPANY – Flat Rock, NC

    CONTROL SPECIALTIES – Fairview, NC

    DEBRUHLS USED CARS – Asheville, NC

    EGOLF MOTORS BREVARD – Hendersonville, NC

    FAITH SEARCH PARTNERS – Asheville, NC

    FISHER REALTY – Brevard, NC

    FLAVOR FIRST INC – Hendersonville, NC

    FRENCH BROAD PAVING, INC. – Marshall, NC

    HAYNES ELECTRIC – Asheville, NC

    HAWG WILD BBQ – Brevard, NC

    HENDERSON OIL CO – Hendersonville, NC

    HIGHLANDS FINE ART – Highlands, NC

    HUNTER AUTOMOTIVE GROUP – Asheville, NC

    JIMCO EQUIPMENT CORP – Weaverville, NC

    JK KITCHEN – Asheville, NC

    KCK INVESTMENTS, LLC – Mills River, NC

    KPS CAPITAL PARTNERS – Fletcher, NC

    LONG LAW FIRM – Fairview, NC

    MAGNOLIAS RESTAURANT – Asheville, NC

    MCGUIRE WOOD & BISSETTE LAW FIRM – Asheville, NC

    MERRILL MASONRY, INC – Brevard, NC

    MICHAEL D GILLESPIE DDS – Waynesville, NC

    MILAN HOTEL GROUP – Asheville, NC

    MILESTONE HOSPITALITY – Maggie Valley, NC

    MILLER BROTHER’S INC – Hendersonville, NC

    MILLER’S DRY CLEANING – Hendersonville, NC

    MILLS RIVER SELF STORAGE – Biltmore Forest, NC

    MINICK LAW – Asheville, NC

    PATENT FILING SPECIALIST – Hendersonville, NC

    PREMIER HOMES OF THE CAROLINAS – Hendersonville, NC

    RAINTREE MUSIC GROUP – Asheville, NC

    REABEN OIL CO – Hendersonville, NC

    REALTEC REALTY INC – Brevard, NC

    ROCKCLIFF ORAL & FACIAL SURG – Asheville, NC

    ROCKY TOP WELLNESS – Asheville, NC

    SAFELITE – Candler, NC

    SANTA’S LAND – Cherokee, NC

    SDV OFFICE SYSTEMS – Asheville, NC

    SOUTHEASTERN ASPHALT – Flat Rock, NC

    THOMAS H BLACKWELL w/ AMERILIFE OF ASHEVILLE – Hendersonville, NC

    TRIUNE INVESTMENTS – Canton, NC

    VAN ORSDEL FUNERAL HOME – Arden, NC

    WAYNE RODDY CPA – Asheville, NC

    WORLDS EDGE FARM – Hendersonville, NC

    YOUTH WITH A MISSION ASHEVILLE – Candler, NC

      • James

        It’s in the post. FEC.gov. You can search on OpenSecrets.org as well. You use advanced search and narrow down to 2020 election and Cawthorn. You may have to search ZIP code by ZIP code to find these b y company as that database works better by name of contributor. Hope that helps.

      • James

        Yes, which makes you wonder why the donor decided to provide false(?) information to the campaign which was in turn reported to the Federal Elections Commission (FEC.gov). Magnolia’s is per the official government record, not my imagination or deliberate attempts to lie….

      • Mike

        Just guessing here, but because it was a way for the owner of Magnolia’s (Chris Peterson, the property owner of the land the Bluffs on River Bend is being proposed on) to make a donation in a way that somehow benefitted him financially or tax-wise. Just guessing, of course…but you leave the LLC or C-corp open on your closed business as a way to shelter money no other reason I am aware of.

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