Busted: GOP’s Madison Cawthorn Paralympic Story Is a Lie – According to Athletes
Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) has long used his disability as an inspiring story about overcoming adversity, but others who face similar challenges say his triumphant claims have become something of a running joke among some others who use wheelchairs.
The newly elected North Carolina Republican was paralyzed from the waist down following a 2014 car crash, when he was 18 years old, and has falsely boasted about his business success, acceptance into the Naval Academy and training for the Paralympic Games, reported The Nation.
“It’s like a kid saying they want to play in the NBA when they’re on their fourth-grade basketball team,” said Paralympian athlete Amanda McGrory, who has earned seven medals in track and field.
The 25-year-old Cawthorn told a Christian podcast that he “had an opportunity” for track and field events in the Paralympics, but The Nation’s reporting found no evidence of such an opportunity or any meaningful steps he’d taken to get there.
“You have to be involved in a team, usually your college or a local club,” McGrory said, “and then from there, you establish times at qualifying races, and then from there you get scouted.”
Cawthorn attended Patrick Henry College, a tiny Christian college in Virginia that doesn’t offer a disabled sports program, and other wheelchair athletes don’t recall ever seeing him at events.
“The community itself is small,” said Robert Kozarek, a former elite wheelchair marathoner who never qualified for the Paralympic Games himself. “There’s probably 50 [elite wheelchair racers] in the entire country, and we see each other four, five, six times a year, at least.”
Cawthorn boasts about training for the Paralympics on social media, but other athletes aiming for the same goals say the lawmaker’s claims about his intentions to break the world record for the 100-meter dash are ridiculous.
“Who is this guy?” McGrory recalls thinking when she saw Cawthorn’s boast. “Why does he think he’s going to break world records? This is really weird. I don’t think he has any idea what he’s talking about.”
Brian Siemann, a two-time Team USA track and field athlete in the Paralympic Games, sheepishly admitted that Cawthorn’s Instagram account had been a running joke among other elite wheelchair athletes.
“[My teammates and I] would share whatever posts [Cawthorn] put up and be like, ‘Look at what batsh*t thing he said about the Paralympics this week,” Siemann said. “The claims he was making were just so absurd, you have to find some humor in it.”
Cawthorn has also claimed that he’d been accepted to the Naval Academy after then-U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) nominated him, but he had already been rejected before his life-altering injury, and his real-estate investment firm, SPQR Holdings LLC, has reported no income on its tax documents and listed only the lawmaker as an employee.
The lawmaker’s Instagram account kicked up one of the largest controversies in his fledgling career, after he celebrated a “bucket list” visit to Adolf Hitler’s “Eagle’s Nest” retreat, although he denounced the Nazi “Fuhrer” as “supreme evil.”
A guest columnist for his hometown Asheville Citizen Times called on the youngest lawmaker elected to Congress since 1797 to step down after helping to incite a violent insurrection Jan. 6 at the U.S. Capitol, three days after he was sworn in, aimed at overturning Donald Trump’s election loss.
“It’s time for Congressman Cawthorn to resign,” wrote contributor Jasmine Beach-Ferrara. “If he does not resign, he should be removed from office because he has violated his oath of office and specifically section 3 of the 14th Amendment.”
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FEC Closes Case on International ‘Coordinated Attempt’ to Steal Black Americans’ Votes for Clinton to Help Trump
The Federal Election Commission (FEC) has quietly closed the file on a five-year old election fraud case, confirming a “coordinated attempt” by an international 4chan-based group that set up a website masquerading as an official Hillary Clinton campaign site that targeted Black Americans to try to get them to “cast” their vote for the 2016 Democratic presidential candidate online, to help elected Donald Trump.
There is no online voting in U.S. elections.
The website also tried to profit off the venture, soliciting “campaign” donations, which is illegal since they had no affiliation with the Clinton campaign.
It is not known how many people believed they cast their ballot for Clinton online, at votehillaryonline.com, nor is it known how much money was collected through the election fraud scam. An FEC’s Second General Counsel report reveals the main focus of the website (screenshot image below), as one user in a Discord chat said, was “to trick African-Americans ‘into thinking that they can vote at home,’ hopefully resulting in a ‘Trump landslide.'”
“The results of the investigation show that the primary purpose of the Website was to deceive minority voters into thinking that they could vote for Clinton on the Website rather than at a polling place, thus, potentially helping Donald J. Trump to win the 2016 Presidential election,” the FEC report reads.
It noted “the investigation confirmed the existence of a coordinated attempt, likely from outside the United States, to interfere with American voters.”
The Daily Beast adds, “FEC investigators combed through reports by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the final report of Special Counsel Robert Mueller for signs that the fake site could be linked to the Internet Research Agency, the Russian troll farm responsible for carrying out much of Russia’s election meddling, but found no connections.”
The FEC was unable to identify the perpetrators and recommended closing the case, taking no further action.
‘Should Be Disbarred’: Internet Furious After Sidney Powell Insists ‘No Reasonable Person’ Would Have Believed Her
“Tell this to the families of the murdered Capitol Police officers”
Attorney and conspiracy theorist Sidney Powell for months insisted then-President Donald Trump won re-election, that it was stolen from him, and spun an outrageous tale involving a government supercomputer switching votes to Joe Biden amid a communist plot involving Cuba, George Soros, China, Venezuela, the Clinton Foundation, Antifa, dead Hugo Chávez, and Dominion and Smartmatic voting machine companies.
Dominion and Smartmatic both sued her for defamation.
Now, in response to Dominion’s $1.3 billion lawsuit, Powell is trying to get it dismissed – by blaming anyone who believed her.
Buzzfeed News’ senior reporter Zoe Tillman posted the details: Powell is claiming “no reasonable person would conclude” those “were truly statements of fact.”
Sidney Powell has moved to dismiss Dominion’s defamation lawsuit. She argues that when she accused Dominion of being part of an election-rigging scheme with ties to Venezuela, “no reasonable person would conclude” those “were truly statements of fact” https://t.co/RDPD1eGvY3 pic.twitter.com/p5zssgV5JJ
— Zoe Tillman (@ZoeTillman) March 22, 2021
“Powell argues she can’t be liable if the information she based her ‘opinions and legal theories’ on were actually unreliable,” Tillman adds, “comparing herself to reporters who get 1A protection when they cite sources; but she later also makes clear she disputes that her info was ‘false.'”
It was just three weeks ago that her final cases were dropped – by the U.S. Supreme Court, which threw them out. In other words, she expected the nation’s highest court to believe her arguments, but says in response to being sued that “no reasonable person” should have.
Twitter quickly buried her in mockery, but some are absolutely furious, like this woman who says Powell thinks America “is a toy–to be played with, snapped in half, and then discarded as soon as it no longer charms.”
This makes me violently angry. My own *mother* believed Sidney Powell. I’m so angry people like Powell claim they are “the patriots.” They hate America. This woman thinks her country is a toy–to be played with, snapped in half, and then discarded as soon as it no longer charms. https://t.co/pe5yAV4x4F
— Eve Fairbanks (@evefairbanks) March 22, 2021
Here’s how others are responding:
So she’s admitting violating a bunch of rules of professional ethics in order to defeat a defamation claim.
That’s pretty desperate.
— Jason Silverman (@JMSilvermanEsq) March 22, 2021
“No reasonable person would believe me when I say this snake oil is safe to drink. But I’ll sell it to you for $50 a vial–a bargain for such a delicious and safe health tonic.”
— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) March 22, 2021
Powell is a disgrace who should be disbarred for her unethical conduct. https://t.co/iKq5FHyZeB
— Bradley P. Moss (@BradMossEsq) March 22, 2021
Sidney Powell’s defense: “Everything I said about Dominion was bullshit. If you believed anything I said, you’re an idiot. It’s your fault, not mine.”
— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) March 22, 2021
With just a few small tweaks, Sidney Powell’s motion to dismiss could easily be turned into a disbarment decision. https://t.co/WLPDVCXpcg
— Ari Cohn (@AriCohn) March 22, 2021
Sidney Powell wants folks to believe that even the Kraken doesn’t believe her.
— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) March 22, 2021
This shows Sidney Powell views supporters of the former President and @GOP legislators as unreasonable, that only stupid people would have believed her election fraud statements. Problem is, many Republican legislators continue to wrongly believe the election was stolen. https://t.co/t6OcGn5eUX
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) March 22, 2021
I wonder how everyone who lived and died by the words of Sidney Powell will feel knowing that her defense is to claim that NO REASONABLE PERSON WOULD CONCLUDE HER CLAIMS WERE TRULY STATEMENTS OF FACT. https://t.co/yl461IZouu
— Brian Tyler Cohen (@briantylercohen) March 22, 2021
I'd like Sidney Powell to tell this to every single one of the insurrectionists who stormed the Capitol on January 6th with intent to hang the Vice President and murder the Speaker of the House.
I'd like her to tell this to the families of the murdered Capitol Police officers. https://t.co/8AIOUvKh42
— Kurt Bardella (@kurtbardella) March 22, 2021
And with this, Sidney Powell declares she must be disabarred. She is now stating that the allegations she filed in a lawsuit under penalty of perjury were BS, and she knew it. So, disbarment is number one. And “I was lying” does not obviate a defamation claim. https://t.co/7UHLSFxrfz
— Kurt “Masks Save Lives” Eichenwald (@kurteichenwald) March 22, 2021
Fox News, when Tucker Carlson gets sued for lying: No reasonable person should actually believe that he's being honest.
Sidney Powell, when she gets sued for lying: No reasonable person should actually believe that I'm being honest.
There's a trend here … https://t.co/M9HRnDI3Ce
— Lis Power (@LisPower1) March 22, 2021
Sidney Powell is admitting that everthing she said was bullshit.
— Alex Cole (@acnewsitics) March 22, 2021
The Sidney Powell story is stunning. She was leading a fraudulent effort to override the will of 81 million voters and our constitutional republic. And just a few months later, she openly admits it was a sham in a public court filing.
— A Hopeful Citizen (@ThePubliusUSA) March 22, 2021
New Right-Wing ‘Election Integrity’ Project Chair Is Attorney Who Was Part of Trump’s Call to Brad Raffensperger
A new right-wing “election integrity” project is being headed by Cleta Mitchell, an attorney who took part in the notorious call on which former President Donald Trump threatened and badgered Georgia’s Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” enough votes to reverse the election results in that state. The new “multi-million dollar National Election Protection Initiative” was announced by right-wing astroturf group FreedomWorks via an “exclusive” to Newsmax.
“Election integrity is the most important issue to the conservative movement,” FreedomWorks said in a statement to Newsmax. “The outcome of the 2020 presidential election and its associated legal battles underscore the need for conservatives to engage at all levels in fighting for secure elections that generate confidence.”
As the Washington Post reported in January, Mitchell was an “early backer” of Trump’s false claims about election fraud and a stolen election. Shortly after the election was called for Biden, Mitchell claimed that Georgia’s recount was a “total sham,” tweeting, “Happy to be considered a nut job because I believe in the rule of law.”
On the Raffensperger call, Mitchell said that Trump’s legal team had been “formally and informally” contacting Georgia election officials “for weeks.” State election officials on the call repeatedly told Trump, Mitchell, and then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows that their claims were based on false information.
In January, Right Wing Watch reported that Mitchell signed a Dec. 30 letter from right-wing movement leaders urging Senate Republicans to “protect the republic” by contesting electoral votes from battleground states won by Biden.
To launch her new project, Mitchell appeared Sunday on the Newsmax program “Save the Nation,” hosted by FreedomWorks President Adam Brandon, where she claimed that the 2020 election had caused Americans to lose confidence in the nation’s elections and would lead to a totalitarian government (see video below).
Mitchell dismissed longtime progressive efforts to protect voters from voter suppression, charging that they are ploys to “wipe out” election safeguards. Mitchell called H.R. 1, a voting-rights and democracy-reform bill that passed in the House and is now being considered in the Senate, an attempt to “rig” elections in Democrats’ favor. Mitchell urged right-wing activists to “hammer” their senators to oppose the legislation.
In addition to opposing federal voting rights legislation, FreedomWorks’ efforts appear to be targeting the same battleground states cited in the right-wing leaders’ Dec. 30 letter: Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. FreedomWorks’ list also includes North Carolina.
Before Mitchell began volunteering with Trump’s post-election efforts, she represented “a who’s who of prominent Trumpworld people” in recent years, the Daily Beast reported in January. Mitchell’s clients have included Trumpism strategist Steve Bannon and the right-wing True the Vote, an organization that has a track record of opposing mail-in ballots, challenging voter registrations, and advocating for voter ID laws. Mitchell was reportedly involved in a project to “protect” Trump and attack Democrats that right-wing activist Ginni Thomas presented to the secretive Council for National Policy in 2019. Mitchell resigned as a partner at the law firm of Foley & Lardner after a recording of the call with Raffesnperger became public.
This article was originally published by Right Wing Watch and is republished here by permission.
Image: Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour via Flickr
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