Where is Madison Cawthorn Getting the Money to Overpay His Staffer Friend?

A freshman Representative in Congress earns $174,000 a year. So why is Madison Cawthorn (Q-NC) paying his inexperienced best friend nearly that to work on his staff?

Quarterly disbursement statements show Cawthorn’s chief of staff William “Blake” Harp made $31,777.77 in the first quarter of the year, the equivalent of $127,111 annually, despite having no background in government and not much other work experience besides running fireworks stands in his home state of North Carolina.

Madison Cawthorn and antivax right-wingers slow votes
[Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]
Harp and Cawthorn, who uses a wheelchair, have known each other since at least 2016, when they were both around 20 years old, and neither had any experience in government or public service until Cawthorn became the youngest member of Congress with his election in November. And while Harp’s salary might be considered “on the lower end” by those with more years of work in the public sector, it’s still an exorbitant amount of money for someone whose last paying gig was cash-only.

Cawthorn has often been lumped together with other freshmen Reps who believe in the QAnon conspiracy theory and were also suspiciously active with members of citizen-based militias like the Oath Keepers prior to the January 6th attack on the Capitol. Along with Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert, Cawthorn continues to push his controversial views while staunchly supporting the Big Lie for Trump. He even spoke on the same stage as Trump at a rally that preceded the January 6th Capitol insurrection.

Cawthorn has displayed other shady behaviors in the past, like lying about his discharge from the military while ducking questions about various sexual abuse accusations against him.

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