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House investigation finds Rep. Jamaal Bowman gave 'misleading' and 'less than credible' statements about fire alarm incident
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House investigation finds Rep. Jamaal Bowman gave 'misleading' and 'less than credible' statements about fire alarm incident

The House Ethics Committee will not take disciplinary action against Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) despite finding that he was not honest about the infamous fire alarm incident.

Last September, Bowman claimed he "mistakenly" pulled a fire alarm in the Cannon House Office Building believing that it would open an exit door. Bowman claimed he made the mistake because he was "rushing" to the House floor "to make a vote."

But a 16-page report from the Office of Congressional Ethics found that Bowman lied.

"Surveillance video obtained by the OCE shows Rep. Bowman deliberately pulling the fire alarm lever without ever looking back to determine whether the alarm facilitated the opening of the emergency doors," the report explained. "Indeed ... Rep. Bowman casually walked away from the secured area upon triggering the fire alarm, appearing seemingly disinterested in actually departing through the exit.

"More importantly, at the time of this incident, the House stood adjourned. Rep. Bowman, contrary to statements issued by his office, was en route to an emergency Caucus (Democrat) meeting — not to cast an imminent vote," the report added.

The report included text messages showing that Bowman knew about the caucus meeting "prior to activating the fire alarm," which proves he knew that he was not heading to the House floor to vote.

The OCE, however, stopped short of accusing Bowman of deliberately lying.

"In light of this evidence, the OCE finds the explanation provided by Rep. Bowman’s official statement and those published by his staff to be less than credible or otherwise misleading," the report said.

Despite the misleading statements, the House Ethics Committee determined that taking disciplinary action against Bowman "would be moot" because the House already voted to censure him.

Bowman, moreover, has complied with a deferred sentencing agreement, the committee explained.

As part of that agreement, Bowman pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of setting off a false fire alarm. Bowman was also required to pay a $1,000 fine and issue a formal apology to the Capitol Police in exchange for prosecutors dropping the criminal charge.

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Chris Enloe

Chris Enloe

Staff Writer

Chris is a staff writer for Blaze News. He resides in Charlotte, North Carolina. You can reach him at cenloe@blazemedia.com.
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