The congressman lost his primary in May and his term ends next month.
The House Panel’s Investigative Subcommittee (ISC) “found substantial evidence that Rep. Cawthorn promoted a cryptocurrency in which he had a financial interest in violation of rules protecting against conflicts of interest, and that he failed to file timely reports in the House disclosing his cryptocurrency transactions,” the report said.
The subcommittee “did not find that Representative Cawthorn knowingly or willfully failed to file timely disclosures; nonetheless, the ISC found that he is required by law to pay applicable late filing fees for his untimely disclosures.
The committee investigated but did not find sufficient evidence of insider trading, efforts to artificially inflate the value of the coin, or an intent for personal enrichment.
The report also found no evidence to support allegations this year that Cawthorn had an inappropriate relationship with a staff member.
Cawthorn’s office had no immediate response to the report.
According to the report, Cawthorn paid $150,000 for the $180 billion “Let’s Go, Brandon,” or LGB Coin, on Dec. 21, 2021. By then, Republicans had embraced the phrase as a slur against President Biden. On the morning of December 22, footage could be found on Cawthorn’s social media bragging room.
On December 30, 2021, LGB Coin announced that it would be sponsoring a NASCAR driver, Brandon Brown, in the 2022 racing season. The next day, Cawthorn sold a bunch of the LGB coin he had just purchased.
Then, on January 4, 2022, NASCAR announced that it was withdrawing its approval for LGB Coin to sponsor a driver in its competitions, driving down the price of the coin. On the same day, Cawthorn sold more of its LGB coin and, nearly two weeks later, sold almost all of the remaining LGB coin it owned, according to the report.
Cawthorn, according to the report, “was seen in multiple photographs and videos in which he appeared to specifically support or encourage individuals to purchase LGB coins, including after the value of the LGB coin he held dropped in value.” But officials failed to reach a consensus on whether Cawthorn “intends to profit personally from his promotional activities.”
In mid-November, Cawthorn told officials he owned nearly 15,400,000,000 LGB parts which he “believes” to be valued at “$357.52”, however, the report notes, “it is unclear how Representative Cawthorn arrived at his estimate of value”.
In the report, officials said Cawthorn’s behavior in relation to the play “did not credibly reflect the House.”
The report is a cornerstone of the Republican’s brief one-term tenure whose status as the party’s rising star was quickly overshadowed by bizarre scandals and allegations of wrongdoing.
Cawthorn was elected to Congress in November 2020 at age 25 and was a fierce supporter of President Donald Trump. While in office, he was arrested for speeding and charged with driving with a revoked license. He tried to bring a loaded gun onto a plane.
He accused fellow Republicans of staging orgies and using cocaine. He also called Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky a “thug”. He amassed more than a million social media followers but also attracted a wide range of Republican and Democratic opponents when he ran for re-election.
Cawthorn came in second place in the Republican primary in May, behind Chuck Edwards, a state senator, who won the congressional seat in the general election.