Rep. Madison Cawthorn says petitioners are 'very close' to getting him barred from running for re-election this year
- GOP Rep. Madison Cawthorn says a petition to stop him from running in 2022 is close to succeeding.
- The complaint filed against Cawthorn accuses him of engaging in an insurrection on January 6, 2021.
North Carolina congressman Madison Cawthorn said on Monday that a petition filed against him is close to successfully blocking him from running for office this year.
"They are actually very close," Cawthorn said when asked on "Tucker Carlson Tonight" about the possibility of his disqualification from the upcoming primary. Carlson described the petition as an effort towards "ending democracy."
"Now what's going on in North Carolina is that the State Board of Election, a panel of five people, is asserting that they have the ability to bar 740,000-plus Americans in my district from being able to elect me, to send me to Washington to be their weapon to fight against the deep state," Cawthorn said.
—Madison Cawthorn (@CawthornforNC) February 22, 2022
In January, a group of North Carolina voters filed a complaint with their state's Board of Election, asking that it disqualify Cawthorn from running for Congress under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. Under the amendment, a person can be barred from holding office if they "engaged in insurrection or rebellion" after taking an oath to support the Constitution.
The petitioners accused Cawthorn of breaching the amendment by inciting the January 6 Capitol riot, which has been widely described as an insurrection. Their case largely hinges on whether Cawthorn directly promoted the riot by telling supporters of former President Donald Trump that "It's time to fight" during a "Stop The Steal" rally held just prior to the attack on the Capitol.
Earlier this month, the North Carolina elections board ruled that it has the power to block Cawthorn from running for office, dismissing a lawsuit he filed to counter the petition, The Hill reported.
Speaking to Carlson on Monday, Cawthorn accused his detractors of labeling the January 6 rioters "insurrectionists" so they could later set up petitions to block him from running for office.
"Make no mistake, Tucker, this is not just about a 26-year-old from western North Carolina in a wheelchair. This is about the future of our very nation," he said.
Cawthorn further accused the petitioners of trying to set a precedent with his case so they can move on to other targets who share his political beliefs.
A successful disqualification for Cawthorn "might provide a model for banning Trump from holding office again," wrote Princeton politics professor Jan-Werner Mueller in an opinion piece published by The Guardian.
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