Cawthorn’s Check, Vela’s Whirl, Trump’s Cell

We look at who just donated to Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.), the philosophy of Gordon Sondland and Donald Trump’s latest reason to not comply with a subpoena.


Madison Cawthorn’s Campaign Gets Donation From Associate Of Sanctioned Russian Billionaire

Chalk up one more controversy for Rep. Madison Cawthorn, the North Carolina Republican who seems enveloped in it. Cawthorn’s cash-strapped campaign for re-election received a donation Friday from the cousin and business associate of a sanctioned Russian oligarch, according to a report filed Sunday night with the Federal Election Commission.

Andrew Intrater, a U.S. citizen who’s an asset manager for New York-based Sparrow Capital Holdings, contributed $1,000 to Cawthorn’s campaign. Intrater’s cousin and, at least at one time, biggest investor is billionaire Viktor Vekselberg, who has been under U.S. sanctions since April 2018. Last month, Spanish police, with assistance from U.S. law enforcement, seized Vekselberg’s superyacht on the resort island of Mallorca.

Friday made for interesting timing for Intrater, who has donated $250,000 to Republican campaigns since 2017. Cawthorn, 26, has been through a tumultuous few months. Since the beginning of March, Cawthorn has been charged with driving with a revoked license, called Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky a “thug,” claimed he was invited to a “sexual get-together” with other politicians and witnessed some of them doing cocaine, been cited for having a loaded gun in his carry-on bag at the Charlotte airport and had a Republican Senator from his home state call on Congress to investigate him for insider stock trading.

Intrater’s check comes as Cawthorn’s campaign is underwater. Last week, it reported debts of $325,000 with $138,000 of cash on hand.

Polls have shown Cawthorn’s favorability rating and support declining among GOP primary voters in his district, but he still holds a double-digit lead over his closest rival. Voting ends May 17.

Intrater and a spokesperson for the Cawthorn campaign didn’t respond to inquiries.


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In Case You Missed It


Continuing Irresolutions

Updates on Checks & Imbalances’ previous reporting

“Yes, I’m the quid pro quo guy,” former U.S. Ambassador to the European Union and impeachment witness Gordon Sondland wrote in his memoir, according to a report in the Washington Post. “But you know what? Everything in life is some kind of a quid pro quo.” It’s not surprising insight from a guy who donated $1.5 million to campaigns and Trump’s inaugural before landing his ambassadorship—and has made no political contributions since.

*****

Financial disclosures for a member of Democratic leadership in the House, Katherine Clark of Massachusetts, show she appeared to have changed her investment strategy and is no longer trading stocks, Insider reported. Last year, Clark failed to disclose selling more than $100,000 of shares in private investment adviser Ruane, Cunniff & Goldfarb within 45 days, as federal law requires.

*****

Former Rep. Filemon Vela (D-Texas) registered as a lobbyist on May 2, as LegiStorm first reported. In March, Vela resigned with nine months left in his term to join the law firm and lobbying firm Akin Gump.


Trump Says He Lost Cell Phones Requested By New York Attorney General

“Former President Donald Trump says he no longer has cell phones requested by New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) in her investigation of alleged fraud by the Trump Organization,” reports Zachary Snowdon Smith:

Trump said he was not in possession of any phones or similar devices from the Trump Organization, adding that four phones he had previously owned had gone missing, including a Samsung phone that was taken from him “at some point” while he was president.Trump said he only had two cell phones: an iPhone for personal use and a new phone used exclusively for posting on
Truth Social, the Trump-founded “non-woke” social media platform.
Read more: Trump Says He Lost Cell Phones Requested By New York Attorney General


Tracking Trump

  • “Musk Denies Claim Trump ‘Encouraged’ Him To Buy Twitter” (Forbes)
  • “Jared Kushner’s New Fund Plans to Invest Saudi Money in Israel” (The Wall Street Journal)
  • “Former President Donald Trump attended a fundraiser at the Kentucky Derby this weekend benefiting his primary super PAC, Make America Great Again, Again!, which raised $1.5 million, according to a person familiar with the event.” (Politico)
  • “A grand jury indictment did not impede GOP Colorado secretary of state candidate Tina Peters’ ability to travel to Florida for a movie premiere at Mar-a-Lago.” (KUSA Channel 9 Denver)

Editor’s Picks

  • “Business leaders helped to bankroll the anti-abortion groups who could soon see Roe v. Wade overturned” (CNBC)
  • “Democratic megadonor Soros puts $1 million into Abrams’ campaign” (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
  • “60 members of Congress have violated a law designed to stop insider trading and prevent conflicts-of-interest” (Insider)
  • “Perdue has less than $1M in the bank, far behind Kemp, Abrams” (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
  • “GOP donor described botched vote fraud probe in recording, prosecutors say” (The Washington Post)
  • “U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn gave cousin $141K in campaign and taxpayer funds, records show” (WRAL—NBC News Channel 5)

In Closing

We’re on our own, cousin

All alone, cousin

Let’s think of a game to play

Now the grown-ups have all gone away

– The Who, “Cousin Kevin”

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