Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), who caused a delay in a crucial government funding vote, will not face an ethics investigation.
The House Ethics Committee has declined to investigate Rep. Jamaal Bowman's conduct related to an incident where he pulled a fire alarm in the Capitol building.
The incident occurred on the 30th of September, right before a scheduled vote on a governmental funding bill. The act of pulling the alarm resulted in a delay, causing a significant disruption in the proceedings. This behavior was not what was expected from Bowman, who was a middle school principal before his election to Congress.
Bowman's actions led to his subsequent charging, and he was facing up to 6 months in jail for the offense. However, in an unexpected turn of events, he managed to avoid jail time by agreeing to a plea deal.
As part of the agreement, Bowman was to pay a $1,000 fine, pen an apology to the Capitol Police, and serve a three-month probation period. After the probation, the charge will be withdrawn.
The House Ethics Committee had 30 days after Bowman was charged to decide whether or not to open an investigation. On November 22, they made a decision not to do so.
Bowman's actions during and after the incident have raised eyebrows. Despite claiming that he pulled the alarm to open the emergency doors so he could vote, reports show that he threw emergency signs on the floor and exited the building from a different floor. This sequence of events contradicts his initial claims.
"I thought the alarm would open the door," Bowman stated in his defense. Bowman has acknowledged that he broke DC law but insisted he was not trying to disrupt proceedings.
Following the incident, his office sent a memorandum to his Democrat colleagues, urging them to defend him against what they termed as "Nazi" Republicans.
The House Ethics Committee released a statement on their decision, which read:
"A majority of the Members of the Committee did not agree to establish an ISC or report to the House regarding Representative Bowman’s conduct."
This decision effectively closes the door on an official inquiry into Bowman's actions on that September day. It also marks the end of a tumultuous period that began when Bowman pulled the fire alarm, causing a delay in a critical government funding vote.