Congressman Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., has been criminally charged for unlawfully pulling a fire alarm last month in a congressional building.
Bowman received a summons on Wednesday for an arraignment before the Superior Court of the District of Columbia on Thursday morning. He pleaded guilty to causing the false alarm, according to Fox News. Consequentially, the misdemeanor is punishable with a fine and or a maximum sentence of six months of incarceration.
However, according to Axios, Rep. Bowman has entered into a plea agreement with the D.C. attorney general in exchange for a minimal punishment. The New York representative is expected to plead guilty, pay a $1,000 fine, and issue a formal apology. Moreover, if the conditions are satisfied, the attorney general will drop all charges in three months.
The incident occurred on September 30 inside the Cannon House Office building while voting procedures were underway.
According to Bowman, he was “rushing” to cast his vote, but the door he was attempting to enter would not open. Insistently, Bowman claims that he was under the impression that the door would open by activating the fire alarm. In doing so, the alarm forced an evacuation and halted the appointed voting time.
Moments prior, House Democrats were stalling the advancement of a vote to keep federal agencies open. Therefore, some Republicans assume that Bowman was pulling a dirty trick to benefit his colleagues. Congresswoman Claudia Tenney, R-N.Y., demanded that House Ethics immediately “investigate” Bowman’s intentions. Additionally, she stated the inquiry will prove that “Bowman pulled the alarm to obstruct an official proceeding and delay the vote to prevent a government shutdown!”
President Trump characterized Bowman’s actions as “a horrible display of nerve and criminality.” In addition, Trump exclaimed that Bowman should be “imprisoned” for attempting to “stop a Congressional vote.”