(VitalNews.org) – Representative Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) pleaded guilty on Thursday to misdemeanor charges for pulling a fire alarm in a Capitol office building, according to the Daily Caller.
D.C. Attorney General Brian Schwalb slapped Bowman with false fire alarm charges for pulling the alarm at the Cannon House Office Building on September 30th when the House was about to vote on a legislative funding package to keep the federal government in operation through the end of the year.
Schwalb filed the charges on Wednesday, October 25th, indicating that they had “probable cause” that Bowman intentionally pulled the alarm without there being a fire in the building. There were no charges for interrupting an official proceeding, or anything related to delaying the vote in the House.
Bowman appeared in court on Thursday and reached a plea deal with prosecutors. Bowman agreed to pay a $1,000 fine and pen a written apology letter to the Capitol Police Department.
Prosecutors told members of the press that had the case gone to trial, they would have shown surveillance video that showed Bowman pulling down fire escape warning signs from the door before activating the fire alarm. Pulling a fire alarm in D.C. without there being a fire is a crime, regardless of the excuse.
Bowman called the episode “embarrassing” speaking with the press after the hearing.
Pulling the alarm caused the building to be evacuated, Bowman has insisted the incident was the result of confusion and his rush to get to the vote and not to interrupt an official proceeding. Republicans have alleged that Bowman was attempting to slow-walk the vote because Democrats wanted to include extra funding for Ukraine which was being parsed out into a separate piece of legislation.
Rep. Nicole Malliotakis wants to throw Bowman out of the House for being guilty of the crime. Rep. Byron Donalds (D-NY) compared Bowman’s interruption of Congress to January 6th and suggested there was a mismatch between the years in prison some Republican protesters were serving and Bowman getting off with a fine and a letter.
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