Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) said allegations he closed his district congressional offices were fake news — but pictures and videos taken outside the lawmaker's district offices Monday suggest otherwise.

"THIS OFFICE IS TEMPORARILY CLOSED FOR REGULAR SERVICES," reads a notice posted outside Cawthorn's district office in Waynesville, North Carolina, on Monday afternoon, according to a picture provided to the Washington Examiner from one of Cawthorn's constituents. The notice featured the seal of the House of Representatives and directed visitors to contact Cawthorn's office in Hendersonville.

Cawthorn said in a video statement last Wednesday that the Washington Post was spreading a "lie" that he had closed his congressional offices.

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A sign posted on the door of Rep. Madison Cawthorn's (R-NC) district office in Waynesville, North Carolina, on Monday, May 9, 2022.

"This is an article that is alleging — really, it's spreading a lie that an ex-staffer told about me, and was recorded coordinating with a Democratic super PAC, that I have closed congressional offices," Cawthorn said. "Nothing could be further from the truth. We have as many offices as possible with our congressional budget. We were really the first freshman to have all five offices up and running on day one."


Lisa Wiggins, the former staffer Cawthorn referred to in his statement, was recorded around early April complaining that the freshman lawmaker closed his district offices "because he doesn't care about his constituents." The co-founder of the Fire Madison Cawthorn PAC, who recorded the telephone conversation with Wiggins, later released a copy of the recording to the media.

“I know that because I drove and closed them all,” Wiggins told the PAC's co-founder during the recorded call. “He didn’t have enough caseworkers to man them. He didn’t care — he doesn’t care about his constituents. He does not care.”

“If you come from Cherokee County, you’re driving five hours to see your congressman,” Wiggins added. “But you can’t see your congressman anyway when you go to the office. There’s no way you can get a meeting with him unless he’s trying to pull some votes, and that’s about the only way.”

It's not clear if Wiggins was aware she was being recorded during the call. State law doesn't require all participants of a telephone call to consent to being recorded, according to Smoky Mountain News, which reported the story.

Cawthorn's district office in Burnsville was also closed Monday afternoon, according to video footage shot at the location by a Cawthorn constituent and provided to the Washington Examiner.

The video shows the constituent trying to open the locked door to Cawthorn's office. The constituent then knocks on the door, which features the seal of the House of Representatives, and leaves a few moments later after nobody answers.

And a representative for the Macon County Manager's Office told the Washington Examiner on Tuesday that it has been months since a Cawthorn staffer has been spotted at his Franklin district office.

"There's a sign on the door that's got his email address and states: 'For further information, you can call the Hendersonville office,'" said Pam Ledford.

"I talked to some of the girls that their office is close to that office, and they haven't seen anybody there in a couple of months," Ledford added. "I don't know if they plan to come back."

Cawthorn's congressional website contains no indication that three of his four district offices are closed.

“Congressman Cawthorn’s office is available every weekday for constituents who have casework needs or concerns," Cawthorn spokesman Luke Ball told the Washington Examiner. "Our satellite district offices are staffed by appointment, and our D.C. and main district office in Hendersonville are available Monday through Friday in person and by phone. We’re proud to have closed over 1,800 constituent cases over the last year and a half for western North Carolina."

Cawthorn's perceived absence from his own district has become a sticking point for voters in the lead-up to his May 17 primary, the News & Observer reported.

Many pointed to Cawthorn's attempt to move districts in November to prevent a "go-along-get-along Republican" from winning a seat in North Carolina's 13th Congressional District, only to reverse course in February when he filed for reelection in the state's 11th Congressional District, which he currently represents.

"It’s the feeling of resentment for leaving, and it’s the fact that he left, and it was a very different race than the one he returned to,” Western Carolina University political science professor Chris Cooper told the News & Observer. “So now, if you are an America First voter, you’ve got choices.”


Cawthorn faces seven Republican challengers in his primary. He can win his renomination if he is the only candidate in the race to earn more than 30% of the vote.

“There are several people that are running for Congress now that would be better congressmen and could serve the constituents better,” real estate agent David Patneaude, a Republican kingmaker in McDowell County, told the News & Observer. “That’s what I’m looking at. I like the guy, personally. But I do think there’s something going on.”