Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) mused about busting Jan. 6 “political hostages” out of government custody at a raucous Macon County Republican Party meeting Sunday.
Responding to a question about how he would support the people who were “captured” on Jan. 6, Cawthorn began by calling them “political hostages” then said that one problem was that he wasn’t sure exactly where they were being held pending trial.
“The big problem is, we don’t actually know where all the political prisoners are, and so if we were to actually be able to go and try and bust them out–”
Cawthorn abruptly stopped and changed course.
“And let me tell you, the reason why they have taken these political prisoners is because they’re trying to make an example, because they don’t want to see the mass protests go on in Washington.”
Then, someone in the crowd interrupted: “When are you going to call us to Washington again?”
“We are actively working on that one,” Cawthorne grinned, before adding that he didn’t have a specific answer for the man but that “we have a few plans in motion that I can’t make public right now.”
He then falsely claimed that “we’ve 536 people who are being held in solitary confinement.” For one thing, closer to 600 people face charges related to Jan. 6. More to the point, hundreds are not in federal detention at all. According to a Guardian analysis in May, well more than half of roughly 400 Jan. 6 defendants at that time had been released from custody pending trial.
The Jan. 6 defendants were just one in a slew of topics Cawthorn discussed Sunday.
He referred to the 2020 election as “stolen” and said it was “wrong” to say that 2020 Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Forest lost his race (North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) beat him by around 250,000 votes).
Cawthorn falsely said that racial justice protests in 2020 had left “dozens of cops dead” and “cities completely destroyed and burned.” He said he would be willing to “prosecute Anthony Fauci for lying.” He said he supported pursuing the removal of Joe Biden from the presidency under the 25th Amendment. And after Biden is removed, Cawthorn added, “when Kamala Harris inevitably screws up, we will take them down one at a time.”
As the event wrapped up, Cawthorne signed a shotgun that the Macon County GOP is raffling off, and was asked about the government “pushing” the COVID-19 vaccine.
“Defend your children,” he told the inquiring mother, adding later: “It’s not worth it to put an experimental jab into your son’s arm.”
Gripping the shotgun, he closed by discussing gun rights — and potential “bloodshed.”
“The Second Amendment was not written so that we can go hunting or we can shoot sporting clays,” Cawthorn said. “The Second Amendment was written so that we can fight against tyranny.”
“If our election systems continue to be rigged, and continue to be stolen, then it’s going to lead to one place, and that’s bloodshed,” he added. “And I will tell you, as much as I am willing to defend our liberty at all costs, there’s nothing that I would dread doing more than having to pick up arms against a fellow American. And the way that we can have recourse against that is if we all passionately demand that we have election security in all 50 states.”
This post has been updated.