Rep. Jamaal Bowman Pleads Guilty To Pulling Fire Alarm In Capitol Building

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Nicole Silverio Media Reporter
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Democratic New York Rep. Jamaal Bowman on Thursday pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge relating to pulling a false fire alarm in a Capitol building, The Hill reports.

District of Columbia Attorney General Brian Schwalb charged Bowman with a violation of the D.C. code for pulling a fire alarm inside the Cannon House Office Building during a Sept. 30 House vote on a GOP funding package. The House scrambled to vote on a funding package to keep the government open as the 2023 fiscal year came to an end. (RELATED: House Passes Short-Term Government Funding Bill Seeking To Avoid Shutdown)

The attorney general handed down the charges Wednesday, stating there is “probable cause to believe that the defendant willfully or knowingly gave a false fire alarm within the District of Columbia.” It is a violation of district law to “willfully or knowingly” pull a fire alarm in the District of Columbia.

The “Squad” member is required to send an apology to the U.S. Capitol Police, The Hill reported. He may be facing six months in jail with a $1,000 fine, according to Fox News’ Chad Pergram.

Bowman said he believed pulling the fire alarm would automatically open the door and allow him to enter the House floor on time for the vote. He denied he pulled the alarm to disrupt the floor vote. (RELATED: GOP Rep. Jason Smith Says Rep. Bowman ‘Better Be’ Held Accountable For Pulling Fire Alarm During Floor Vote)

“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,” Bowman said in a statement Sept. 30. “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. 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,” Bowman continued.

Republican New York Rep. Nicole Malliotakis announced her plan to file a resolution to expel Bowman from the House for allegedly committing a federal crime. Other House Republicans called for a criminal investigation and for Bowman to be held accountable.

Then-House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said he was “appalled” by the “Democrats’ actions” to delay the vote. Several House Democrats attempted to slow-walk the vote on the funding bill, citing a lack of measures to support Ukraine.