It’s been a subject of debate for nearly a year now. Did Madison Cawthorn, Republican Representative from North Carolina, actually take part in the January 6 insurrection that occurred in the nation’s capital? 

When former White House resident Donald Trump refused to give up office after losing his attempt at re-election, he and Cawthorn, among others, incited tens of thousands of supporters into a frenzy that resulted in the attack on the capitol building, which led to multiple injuries and death and the destruction of federal property.

Until now, prosecutors have only gone after non-elected individuals who took part in what has been described as one of the bleakest moments in American history. Cawthorn may very likely be the first elected official to be punished for what occurred that day.

In documentation filed February 8, the North Carolina State board of elections seeks to permanently disqualify Cawthorn from running for or holding government office. 

In question is evidence that proves he took part in the attempt to overturn an election, and – ultimately – the form of government this country has operated with since the signing of the American Constitution.

Cawthorn has filed suit to prevent the action, but North Carolina State board of elections chairman Damon Circosta, in a story carried by Slate magazine, has asserted he has confidence the board’s power to disqualify candidates is protected by the constitution.

“In policing candidate qualifications pursuant to its constitutionally delegated election duties … the state does not run afoul of article 1 section 5,” the motion reads. 

“The state does not judge the qualifications of the elected members of the United States House of Representatives. It polices candidate qualifications prior to the elections … states have long enforced age and residency requirements without question and with very few, if any, legal challenges. The state has the same authority to police which candidates should or should not be disqualified per section three of the 14th amendment.”

The documentation directly quotes the 14th amendment, which states that Americans are disqualified from holding public office if they have ”engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the United States government or given aid or comfort to enemies thereof.”

In the days leading up to the January 6 “Stop the Steal” rally, Cawthorn urged Trump supporters to do whatever was necessary to prevent certification of Joe Biden’s presidential election.

During the event Cawthorn did in fact urge the crowd to fight against elected officials, those “hiding and not fighting,” he claimed, because “they are trying to silence your voice.”

The watchdog group Campaign for Accountability has pointed a finger at Cawthorn and fellow GOP Representatives Andy Biggs and Paul Gosar, both of Arizona, for “inciting the riot as part of a seditious conspiracy to use force to prevent Congress from carrying out its constitutional and statutory duties to count the vote of the Electoral College.”

Despite what occurred January 6, Cawthorn has said he has absolutely no regrets. He told Trump supporters that day members of Congress were “cowards” for not overturning the Biden election. Later Cawthorn referred to the rioters he had initially condemned following the attack on the capitol as “political prisoners.”

David Aaron Moore

David Aaron Moore is a former editor of Qnotes, serving in the role from 2003 to 2007. He is currently the senior content editor and a regularly contributing writer for Qnotes. Moore is a native of North...