Bowman charged with misdemeanor for pulling Capitol fire alarm

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Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) was charged with a misdemeanor on Wednesday for pulling a fire alarm in the Cannon House Office Building during last-second government funding votes late last month.

Bowman was issued a summons for 9:30 a.m. at the District of Columbia Superior Court on Thursday, according to court documents.

The New York congressman said that he pulled the alarm by mistake in an attempt to exit the building and quickly make his way to the House floor to vote. Republicans accused him of attempting to make a distraction to delay the vote, which he denied.

“Today, as I was rushing to make a vote, I came to a door that is usually open for votes but today would not open.  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 in a statement at the time.

“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.”

On Wednesday, Bowman’s office said the congressman made an agreement with the D.C. Attorney General to withdraw the charge in three months if he writes an apology to the Capitol Police and pays a $1,000 fine.

“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,” Bowman said in a statement Wednesday.

“I am responsible for activating a fire alarm, I will be paying the fine issued, and look forward to these charges being ultimately dropped.”

House Administration Committee Chairman Bryan Steil (R-Wis.) said he would launch an investigation into Bowman’s conduct. Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-N.Y.) introduced a resolution to expel Bowman from the House over the incident, and others said he should resign.

Former President Trump said Bowman should be “prosecuted and imprisoned” for pulling the alarm.

Bowman denounced Republicans for their harsh criticisms of him.

“I think we all know that Republicans will attempt to use this to distract everyone from their mess,  but I look forward to putting this behind me and to continue working hard to deliver for New Yorkers,” he said Wednesday.

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