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Judge releases dashcam video of Cawthorn driving while his license was revoked

A judge approved the release of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol’s dashcam video. The video was released April 19, 2022.
A judge approved the release of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol’s dashcam video. The video was released April 19, 2022.

A newly released video shows Congressman Madison Cawthorn’s March 3 traffic stop in Cleveland County. A North Carolina State Trooper notifies Cawthorn he was pulled over for expired tags. But after running a records check, the Trooper returns to revoke Cawthorn’s license.

“Alright David we got a little problem, it shows your license is suspended for an out of state ticket,” says the state trooper in the video.

Cawthorn replies: "Is that so? I did not know that.”

The audio is a bit hard to make out – but Cawthorn says he wasn’t aware that his license was suspended. The trooper issued Cawthorn a ticket with a May 6th court date, took his driver’s license and Cawthorn’s passenger took over the wheel.

Cawthorn_2022_dashcam_TylerGantt_202203032218_H432_8080683 Stream 1.mp4

The video was released after a group of North Carolina media organizations including Blue Ridge Public Radio filed a complaint seeking its release. This is the most recent in a number of traffic violations and other allegations since Cawthorn has been in office.

AVL Watchdog dug into Cawthorn’s speeding tickets and found three since he’s been in office as well as nine others .

Since Cawthorn first ran for office in 2020, he’s been under scrutiny for allegations of sexual harassment of a former classmate and “sexually predatory behavior” at Patrick Henry College, claims of white supremacist sympathies, stolen valor, and bringing weapons to the Asheville Airport and local schools. Most recently a former staffer has filed a lawsuit claiming labor violations.

He is currently seeking re-election with seven Republicans challenging him in the May 17th primary. Early voting for the primary starts April 28th.

Six Democrats are also competing in the primary to take on the top Republican candidate in the general election in November.

Lilly Knoepp is Senior Regional Reporter for Blue Ridge Public Radio. She has served as BPR’s first fulltime reporter covering Western North Carolina since 2018. She is from Franklin, NC. She returns to WNC after serving as the assistant editor of Women@Forbes and digital producer of the Forbes podcast network. She holds a master’s degree in international journalism from the City University of New York and earned a double major from UNC-Chapel Hill in religious studies and political science.
Catherine Komp joined Blue Ridge Public Radio in September 2020 as the organization’s first Director of Content, leading BPR’s talented team of local journalists and content creators, overseeing national programming and facilitating collaborations and engagement initiatives.