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Investigators Uncover Bowman Deception In Fire Alarm Probe

   DailyWire.com
Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., is seen in the U.S. Capitol before being censured by by the House on Thursday, December 7, 2023. In September, Bowman had set off a fire alarm when there was not an emergency.
(Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

An explanation given by Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) for activating a fire alarm in a congressional office building in September when there was not an emergency did not add up, investigators said in a newly released report.

The House “stood adjourned” when Bowman triggered the alarm despite a statement from the congressman that claimed he did so while “rushing to make a vote” on a stopgap measure to avert a government shutdown, the independent Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) found in an investigation into the matter.

Bowman, a former middle school principal and member of the leftist “Squad,” was actually “enroute to an emergency Caucus (Democrat) meeting — not to cast an imminent vote,” according to the report, which cited obtained messages on Signal that showed the congressman’s chief of staff having an exchange with him about how there would be a meeting in the U.S. Capitol Building while a vote was being put off.

The “exchange demonstrates that although Rep. Bowman may have initially believed a vote on the continuing resolution was imminent, Rep. Bowman had already been made aware of the emergency meeting and that it was necessary for him to attend — prior to activating the fire alarm,” the report said.

“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 added.

 

Because the OCE’s board found there was not “substantial reason to believe that Rep. Bowman may have obstructed or attempted to impede an official House proceeding,” it recommended the committee dismiss the allegation. But the board did vouch for further review of the allegation that Bowman “willfully and knowingly gave a false alarm of fire in the District of Columbia.”

Bowman also said in his official statement that he “mistakenly” activated the fire alarm “thinking it would open the door,” another claim disputed by the OCE report.

“OCE staff obtained evidence appearing to contradict Rep. Bowman’s claim that he mistakenly activated the fire alarm. 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,” it said, adding, “Indeed … Rep. Bowman casually walked away from the secured area upon triggering the fire alarm, appearing seemingly disinterested in actually departing through the exit.”

The OCE report was published on Thursday by House Ethics Committee. Although the panel declined to open a probe in November, Ethics Chairman Michael Guest (R-MS) and ranking member Susan Wild (D-PA) explained on Thursday that some members wanted to wait on taking action until OCE made its referral. They said OCE submitted the referral in December, shortly after the GOP-led House voting in December to formally rebuke Bowman over the fire alarm incident. And that ended up being the deciding factor for the panel not to move forward.

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“In light of the House’s intervening censure of Representative Bowman, the Committee determined that further review of Representative Bowman’s conduct would be moot,” the leaders said, adding that their panel “separately confirmed that Representative Bowman has complied with the relevant terms of his deferred sentencing agreement” from a plea deal on a misdemeanor count of falsely pulling a fire alarm. Citing house rules, the leaders said their panel would not review the matter further.

Another document published on Thursday was a transcript of an interview OCE’s counsel conducted with Bowman. Pressed on the Signal messages and why he did not reach out to Capitol Police to explain the circumstances for why he triggered the fire alarm, Bowman claimed his “whole mind” was focused on spending talks and the possible impacts of a government shutdown. Bowman also denied that he intended to obstruct an official proceeding.

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