Republican Rep. Madison Cawthorn, the 25-year-old Donald Trump superfan from North Carolina, has made the bizarre claim that Dr. Anthony Fauci might be in legal jeopardy if Cawthorn’s party retakes control of the House in next year’s midterm elections.
The first-term congressman told a right-wing fringe website Wednesday that Fauci, the nation’s topmost expert in infectious disease, could be “prosecuted” by a Republican-controlled House ― limits of congressional power be damned, apparently.
“We want to prosecute this guy to the full ability of the law,” Cawthorn told the site Real America’s Voice, claiming that Fauci has told unspecified lies for “fame and fortune.”
The House of Representatives does not enforce laws, and while it has investigative power and the power to impeach, Fauci himself cannot be impeached.
Although available information about the virus has changed over time, Fauci has persistently encouraged Americans to follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Cawthorn, meanwhile, has used his platform to warn Americans against efforts to make coronavirus vaccines easily accessible. At the Conservative Political Action Conference earlier this month, he claimed such efforts could lead to authorities going “door-to-door” to “take your guns” and “take your Bibles.”
Fauci, who leads the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has become a frequent target of GOP ire in the coronavirus era for refusing to kowtow to Trump Republicans. Trump openly bashed Fauci just last month, calling him “not a great doctor but a great promoter” while speaking at a rally in Cawthorn’s home state.
In his interview Wednesday, Cawthorn endorsed Sen. Rand Paul’s call to refer Fauci to the Department of Justice, though he acknowledged that the request is not likely to go anywhere.
“Jenna, I will just tell you, unfortunately the DOJ right now is under the control of the Biden administration,” Cawthorn told host Jenna Ellis, an attorney. “What’s going to come of it, I don’t know, but I’ll tell you, when we take the majority back in 2022, I’ll make sure consequences are doled out.”