What Madison Cawthorn, Stephen Smith Venmo Messages Say

A political group has submitted evidence to the Office of Congressional Ethics suggesting that rep. Madison Cawthorn may have broken regulations with regards to his relationship with one of his staff members.

The Fire Madison Cawthorn group, operated by the American Muckrakers PAC, accused the North Carolina congressman of ethical violations, including paying thousands of dollars worth of gifts, loans and other benefits to his staffer and close aide, Stephen Smith, 23, which were not declared.

The filings also suggest that Cawthorn is engaging in an improper relationship with Smith which is "separate and apart from the professional relationship" of employer and employee.

Among the evidence submitted include a number of Venmo payments between the pair from June 2018 with crude and suggestive messages attached.

In several Venmo payments Cawthorn is alleged to have sent to Smith, which have not been verified by Newsweek, the congressman added notes reading: "Getting naked for me in Sweden," "the stuff we did in Amsterdam," "the quickie at the airport" and "breaking and entering."

Other alleged Venmo payments Smith sent to Cawthorn included messages such as "For loving me daily and nightly" and "Nudes."

It is unclear if the labels were meant as jokes between the pair.

However, the Fire Madison Cawthorn group has used them in evidence to suggest the congressman may have an relationship with one of his staff members that goes beyond professional and is potentially prohibited by House laws.

Other evidence the groups submitted included noting how Smith has lived in Cawthorn's home in Hendersonville, North Carolina, for free ever since the freshman congressman took office.

Smith also joined Cawthorn on his honeymoon to Dubai in April 2021—just eight months before the Cawthorn and his wife, Cristina Bayardelle, separated.

The group also posted a link to cell phone video of Smith and Cawthorn "discussing suggestive subjects and touching inappropriately."

The short clips show the pair in a car with Cawthorn recorded saying: "I feel the passion and desire, and would like to see a naked body beneath my hands."

Smith then turns the camera on himself and adds "me too," before reaching over and rubbing his hand on Cawthorn's crotch.

In a statement to DailyMail.com, who obtained the cellphone footage recorded by Smith, Cawthorn's spokesman Luke Ball said Cawthorn and Smith are cousins.

As noted by Insider, Cawthorn had previously referred to Smith as his third cousin once removed in a 2017 deposition.

Ball added to Insider that suggestions made by the Fire Madison Cawthorn group are "ridiculous."

Madison Cawthorn venmo
Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference being held in the Hyatt Regency on February 26, 2021 in Orlando, Florida. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Cawthorn appeared to address the cellphone footage in a tweet on Thursday.

"Many of my colleagues would be nowhere near politics if they had grown up with a cell phone in their hands," Cawthorn wrote.

The congressman also suggested the series of controversies that have dogged him ahead of his primary election bid on May 17 are part of a GOP-led campaign to have him kicked out of office.

"We see through it, RINOs [Republican in name only]," Cawthorn tweeted while sharing a headline from The Epoch Times reading: "Rep. Cawthorn Says 'Establishment' Targeting Him With 'Coordinated Drip Campaign."

Speaking to DailyMail.com, David Wheeler, the co-founder of Fire Madison Cawthorn, said they have been attempting to hold the congressman into account for a year.

Wheeler said that the number of controversies which have emerged about Cawthon in recent weeks, including being stopped at an airport for having a loaded gun and being pulled over for driving on a revoked license, shows that the 26-year-old is not fit for office.

"He just seems completely in his own world and detached from reality in a way that's [become] frightening."

Cawthorn and Smith have been contacted for comment.