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: Sen. Thom Tillis calls for insider-trading probe of fellow N.C. Republican lawmaker Madison Cawthorn

Republican Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina on Wednesday said a fellow GOP lawmaker from his state — Rep. Madison Cawthorn — should face an insider-trading investigation, after a Washington Examiner report raised questions about Cawthorn’s moves with LGBCoin, a cryptocurrency.

“Insider trading by a member of Congress is a serious betrayal of their oath, and Congressman Cawthorn owes North Carolinians an explanation. There needs to be a thorough and bipartisan inquiry into the matter by the House Ethics Committee,” said Tillis in a tweet.

LGBCoin is named after the “Let’s Go Brandon” chant that mocks President Joe Biden. It soared on Dec. 30 as a NASCAR driver announced a sponsorship deal with the meme coin, but then plunged in January as the auto-racing company rejected that deal.

See: NASCAR rejects driver’s sponsorship deal with ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ cryptocurrency

The Examiner report said Cawthorn had said he owned the cryptocurrency and in an Instagram post on Dec. 29 appeared to suggest that LGBCoin would “go to the moon.” Multiple watchdog groups told the conservative Washington publication that the congressman may have broken insider-trading laws as he hyped up an alleged pump-and-dump scheme.

A spokesman for Cawthorn didn’t immediately respond to a MarketWatch request for comment.

Related: Congress’s crypto traders: The U.S. lawmakers who buy and sell digital currencies

Last month, Tillis endorsed a North Carolina Republican who is challenging Cawthorn in an upcoming GOP primary. A growing number of Republicans in the state have decided to oppose Cawthorn, who has been criticized for some recent comments,  including one in which he called Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy a “thug.”

See: Tillis endorses Republican challenger to Cawthorn

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