Republicans still trying to win votes by portraying themselves as staunch supporters of “law and order” are finding it hard to maintain their credibility given the number of GOP lawmakers who find themselves in trouble with the law. Congressman Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) is just the latest right-wing Republican to be charged with committing a crime that he should have well known was against the law and a danger to public safety.
The Asheville Citizen-Times is reporting today Rep. Cawthorne was pulled over in Shelby, North Carolina, about an hour and a half south of Asheville, and charged with driving with a revoked license.
According to North Carolina Highway Patrol spokesperson Sgt. Marcus Bethea:
“Trooper Tyler Gantt saw a 2019 Toyota Truck cross the center line on U.S. 74B and pulled it over at 10:26 a.m. The driver was identified as David Madison Cawthorn, 26 years old of Hendersonville, N.C. During the course of the investigation it was determined that the driver’s license was in a state of revocation and he was subsequently charged with driving while license revoked.”
It’s hard to imagine that the controversial congressman — whose eligibility for re-election is being challenged by ethics groups that object to his support for the January 6th insurrectionists — didn’t know that he was driving without a valid driver’s license or that doing so was against the law.
Cawthorn has had a long and thorny history with automobiles. At the age of 18, he was a passenger in a vehicle being driven by a friend returning from a Spring Break trip to Daytona Beach, Florida when the driver fell asleep at the wheel. The resulting crash left Cawthorn partially paralyzed and forced him to rely on a wheelchair.
In addition to the new charges of driving with a revoked license— which could land Cawthorn in jail for up to 20 days — The Asheville Citizen-Times reports that Cawthorn also has “two pending citations for speeding” in different North Carolina counties.
“The first of the traffic stops for the speeding citations happened on Oct. 18 on Interstate 40 near Swannanoa in Buncombe County. A trooper said Cawthorn was going 89 mph in a 65-mph zone,” the newspaper reports.
“In Polk, a trooper stopped Cawthorn on Jan. 8 on U.S. 74 after saying he clocked him at 87 mph in a 70-mph zone,” it added.
Hearings for both speeding citations are scheduled for May.
The latest incident was not the first time that Rep. Cawthorn has been charged with driving without a valid license.
In 2017, before Cawthorn joined Congress, an identical charge of driving with a revoked license was dismissed in Buncombe County.
Let’s hope that the congressman stays off the road until he manages to have his license restored and that he’s held accountable for both his crimes and for his massive hypocrisy when it comes to the rule of law.
Vinnie Longobardo is the Managing Editor of Occupy Democrats. He's a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music, and art.