fifth amendment

Cothren to take the Fifth in Registry probe

Cade Cothren, speaking on phone, attends a meeting with lawmakers and fellow staffers on the balcony ouside the House chamber on April 29, 2019. (Erik Schelzig, Tenenssee Journal)

Cade Cothren, the onetime chief of staff to former House Speaker Glen Casada, intends to invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self incrimination at a Registry of Election Finance hearing on Wednesday, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reports.

“Cade Cothren objects to and will not respond to your subpoena,” his attorney, Cynthia A. Sherwood, wrote to the Registry last month. “This objection is based on the grounds that these subpoenas were made in bad faith and are an abuse of process.

“Furthermore,” she added, “Mr. Cothren invokes his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination.”

The probe involves the role of the Faith Family Freedom Fund in attacking then-Rep. Rick Tillis of Lewisburg during his Republican primary in 2020. The PAC’s treasurer testified to the Registry by telephone in January that she had registered the group on behalf of Cothren, whom she had been dating at the time. Friedopfer said she had been “young and dumb” and didn’t know she would be liable for the PAC’s activities. Cothren advised her not to respond to a Registry audit of the PAC, she said.

The Registry responded by issuing subpoenas of Cothren, Casada, and the winning candidate in the 2020 race, Rep. Todd Warner (R-Chapel Hill).


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