(WJZY) — The lawyers who represented U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) during a legal challenge to his candidacy in the 2022 North Carolina Primary are now suing the congressman themselves.
The Bopp Law Firm filed a lawsuit on Dec. 1, alleging Cawthorn has failed to pay $193,296.85 in legal fees and costs.
The Indiana law firm has accused the congressman of breaching his contract.
The question over Cawthorn’s legal candidacy arose over his involvement in the “Stop the Steal” rally that occurred just before the U.S. Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021.
Voters challenged the congressman, citing Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which was designed to prevent congressmen who had fought in the Confederacy during the Civil War from returning to Congress.
The voters challenged that Cawthorn’s participation in the rally disqualified him from running for Congress.
In March, a U.S. District Judge ruled in Cawthorn’s favor and prevented the North Carolina State Board of Election from looking into whether he should be on the ballot for the 2022 Primary in May.
The voters appealed the ruling to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia. The appeals court ultimately reversed the ruling and sent the case back to the district court.
According to the lawsuit, Cawthorn’s attorneys moved to have the district court case “dropped as moot” in order to avoid a possible ruling that could affect any of the congressman’s future campaigns.
The current representative of North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District is no stranger to legal woes in 2022.
In April, Cawthorn was cited for trying to bring a loaded gun through TSA at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, police said.
CMPD said Cawthorn admitted the firearm was his and he was cooperative with officers. He was issued a citation for possession of a dangerous weapon on city property, which is a City of Charlotte Ordinance.
Cawthorn has also been cited multiple times for various speeding violations. North Carolina Highway Patrol dashcam video released to QCN in April showed a traffic stop involving Cawthorn after he was pulled over in Cleveland County in March and was charged with driving with a revoked license.
Recently, the House Ethics Committee found he financially benefited while purchasing and promoting a cryptocurrency and had violated conflict of interest rules.
According to a report from the Washington Examiner, multiple watchdog groups said Cawthorn may have violated federal laws when he promoted a “pump-and-dump” cryptocurrency scheme.
Late last year, Cawthorn posed with the main investor behind the Let’s Go Brandon cryptocurrency, James Koutoulas.
In response to the photo, Cawthorn publicly said he owned LGBCoin cryptocurrency.
The following day, the cryptocurrency said it would sponsor NASCAR driver Brandon Brown, whose win at Talladega in 2021 kicked off the anti-Biden rallying cry “Let’s Go Brandon,” for the 2022 Xfinity Series season.
“If we do our job right, when you think of us, and you hear, ‘Let’s Go Brandon,’ you’ll think and feel, ‘Let’s Go America,’” Koutoulas said during the announcement.
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LGBCoin’s value spiked by 75% following the sponsorship news, the Washington Examiner reported.
Watchdog groups reportedly told the Examiner that Cawthorn’s Instagram post suggested he may have had advanced knowledge of the deal with Brown and said that, combined with Cawthorn’s statement that he owns LGBCoin, “warrants an investigation from the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission to see if the freshman congressman violated insider trading laws.
By the end of January, the value of LGBCoin had dropped from $570 million to $0.
After the committee’s findings in December, Cawthorn was ordered to pay $14,237.49 to charity. He was also told to pay $1,000 in late fees on reports filed for his cryptocurrency transactions.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.