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Rep. Madison Cawthorn charged with misdemeanor, risks facing jail time

Madison Cawthorn has announced divorce from wife
Madison Cawthorn (Photo: US Gov.)

North Carolina Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R) has been charged for driving with a revoked license. It’s the second time this has happened.

The Asheville Citizen Times reports that Cawthorn, 26, who was the youngest member of Congress to be elected in 2020, was pulled over March 3 near Shelby, Cleveland County, by the highway patrol.

Besides this misdemeanor, a Highway Patrol spokesperson confirmed Cawthorn is also facing speeding citations in Buncombe and Polk counties: for driving 89 mph in a 65 mph zone and 87 mph in a 70 mph zone respectively. Both citations were picked up in the last five months.

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According to last week’s citation, Trooper Tyler Gantt saw a Toyota Truck cross the centerline and pulled it over. Cawthorn was the driver.

“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,” said the spokesperson.

Gantt noted that Cawthorn was “was very polite and cooperative.” It is not publicly known why Cawthorn’s license was revoked.

The court date for the misdemeanor is May 6. It carries a potential 20-day jail sentence, although a fine or probation is more likely.

The Polk County speeding charge is set for April 18 with the Buncombe citation on May 3.

The newspaper says Cawthorn was previously charged in 2017, before becoming a Congressman, for driving while his license was revoked. On that occasion, the case was dismissed.

The misdemeanor will come as a blow to Cawthorn, who last week had victory in his bid to keep his political career on track.

In January, a group of voters in North Carolina launched a legal bid to disqualify Cawthorn from running again. The group cites Cawthorn’s involvement in the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol, saying he encouraged people to “fight” the election result. Cawthorn filed a counter lawsuit to halt the challenge.

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On Friday, a federal judge shut down the challenge from the voters. CNN described it as “a major victory for the pro-Trump firebrand.”

Cawthorn has not issued any comment about being charged for driving without a license. Instead, he’s spent much of the past 24 hours tweeting about the rising cost of gas. Something he probably won’t have to personally worry about for a while going forward.