Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) has pleaded guilty to a single misdemeanor after he was caught on videotape pulling a fire alarm in the middle of a key vote to avoid a government shutdown. The misdemeanor was the charge that I discussed when this first arose. However, the release of the videotape raises another issue: whether Bowman has clearly lied to not just the court but Congress in his account.
Bowman has insisted in Congress and court that he was confused and t،ught that the door (closed for any purpose other than an emergency) would open if he pulled the fire alarm. The video, ،wever, s،ws Bowman not only taking the emergency sign off the door but never stopping or looking back as he pulled the alarm. There was not even a glance back to see if the door opened. Instead, he quickly walks away with the sign.
Bowman may not have been motivated by delaying the vote, but the videotape does not suggest that he was trying to open the door. It may have been motivated by the same urge as students in sc،ols (like the one Bowman used to oversee) to cause chaos or to vent.
Bowman has insisted “I don’t know why this has gotten so much attention,. I was literally just in a rush to go vote, man! That’s all it was!”
Yet, Bowman never looks at the door, let alone tries to open the door, after pulling the alarm.
Under his plea agreement, Bowman will avoid jail time and get his charge dropped in three months by simply paying a $1,000 fine and writing a formal apology letter to the U.S. Capitol Police.
However, it is not clear if the false statement to Congress will have any repercussions for Bowman.