Rep. Bowman Pleads Guilty to Pulling Fire Alarm

Rep. Jamaal Bowman | Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Rep. Jamaal Bowman pleaded guilty on Thursday morning to a misdemeanor charge after he set off a fire alarm in the Capitol in September.

Bowman (D-NY) agreed to a plea deal with the District of Columbia attorney general’s office. He agreed to write a letter of apology to Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger, serve three months of probation, and pay a fine of $1,000, according to ABC News.

If Bowman adheres to the plea agreement’s terms, the charge will be dropped at a January 29 sentencing hearing.

Before Thursday’s arraignment, Bowman addressed the incident and plea deal while speaking with reporters.

“What I did was against D.C. law. As I said from the very beginning, I was not trying to disrupt any congressional proceedings,” he said, according to Reuters.

“I got to take responsibility for it, which I am here to do,” he said.

According to Axios, Gabriel Shoglow-Rubenstein, a spokesperson for the D.C. attorney general’s office, claimed that Bowman was “treated like anyone else who violates the law in the District of Columbia.”

Bowman released a statement on Wednesday saying he was looking “forward to [the] charges being ultimately dropped.”

“I’m thankful for the quick resolution from the District of Columbia Attorney General’s office on this issue and grateful that the United States Capitol Police General Counsel’s office agreed I did not obstruct nor intend to obstruct any House vote or proceedings,” he said in the statement, per CNN.

Bowman could be seen on camera pulling the alarm on September 30 just before the House voted on a stopgap bill to provide funding for the federal government and avoid a shutdown, according to Fox News.

Because the fire alarm was pulled, the Cannon House Building was evacuated for roughly 90 minutes, per Reuters.

Later that same day, Bowman released a statement claiming the doors he normally goes through were locked. He said he believed the alarm would unlock the doors to the building.

“I am embarrassed to admit that I activated the fire alarm, mistakenly thinking it would open the door. I regret this and sincerely apologize for any confusion this caused,” he said.

“But I want to be very clear, this was not me, in any way, trying to delay any vote. It was the exact opposite — I was trying urgently to get to a vote, which I ultimately did, and joined my colleagues in a bipartisan effort to keep our government open,” he claimed.

In response to the incident and plea deal, Rep. Lisa McClain (R-MI) posted on social media, saying she would be “introducing a resolution to Censure Rep. Bowman and remove him from all Committee assignments for the remainder of the 118th Congress.”

It is currently unclear how the House will respond to the bill brought forth by McClain.

Support our non-profit journalism

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Continue reading on the app
Expand article