(FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – In his short time in office, U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn has made a name for himself as a conservative firebrand.
But this week, controversy is surrounding the Asheville Republican.
On Sunday, while speaking at an event hosted by the Macon County Republican Party, Cawthorn warned of political violence.
“The things that we are wanting to fight for, it doesn’t matter if the votes don’t count. Because if our election systems continue to be rigged and continue to be stolen, it’s gonna lead to one place. And that’s bloodshed,” said Cawthorn.
The video was originally posted to Facebook by the local Republican party, but it has since been removed.
The statements were quickly condemned by local and national democratic figures.
“In his comments, Congressman Cawthorn is CLEARLY advocating for violence not to occur over election integrity questions. He fears others would erroneously choose that route and strongly states that election integrity issues should be resolved peacefully and never through violence,” said a spokesperson for Cawthorn.
In his same speech, Cawthorn called suspects in the January 6th attack at the Capitol “political prisoners.” He also said he was working on trying to “bust them out.”
At one point, an audience member asked when another January 6th type event might happen again.
“When are you gonna call us to Washington again?” asked a man in the crowd.
“We are actively working on that one,” Cawthorn responded.
The Republican’s comments came at the same time that reports surfaced the House Select Committee investigating the January 6th attacks has subpoenaed phone and social media records of Cawthorn and nearly a dozen other republicans.
Cawthorn spoke at the “Stop the Steal” rally just before the violence erupted that day.
It’s not clear what the select committee is looking for specifically.
“I won’t tell you who they are, but it’s several hundred people that make up the list of individuals that we plan to contact,” said Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) the Chairman of the committee.
Cawthorn’s office didn’t respond to requests for comments about the subpoenas.