A House Ethics Committee investigation concluded that Rep. Jamaal Bowman’s explanations for pulling a Capitol fire alarm in September were “misleading,” but stopped short of probing the matter further.
Bowman pulled a fire alarm shortly before the House of Representatives passed a stopgap spending measure to avert a government shutdown on Sept. 30. The Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) said that Bowman was not on his way to a vote, but to a meeting of the House Democratic Caucus when he pulled the fire alarm in its report.
“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 says.
Bowman claimed he was in a hurry to get to the vote when he pulled the alarm.
“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 released after the incident.
OCE outlined Bowman’s actions and cited evidence from text messages from around the time of the incident.
“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 said.
“More importantly, at the time of this incident, the House stood adjourned. Rep. Bowman, contrary to statements issued by his office, was enroute to an emergency Caucus (Democrat) meeting—not to cast an imminent vote,” the report added. “At approximately 11:58 am, Rep. Bowman received several messages via Signal private messaging app from Sarah Iddrissu, Chief of Staff, alerting him of the emergency meeting. Ms. Iddrissu informed Rep. Bowman that Members were instructed to meet in room HVC215 within the U.S. Capitol Building.”
Bowman did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.