House Ethics Committee votes against investigating Rep Bowman over pulled fire alarm

The House Ethics Committee voted against opening an investigation into Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., for pulling a fire alarm in a House of Representatives building ahead of a critical vote in September to avert a government shutdown.

The committee’s decision comes just a few weeks after Bowman pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge in Washington, D.C.

Since a majority of the House did not vote to launch an ethics investigation, lawmakers “did not agree to establish an ISC or report to the House regarding Representative Bowman’s conduct,” according to a statement from the Ethics Committee.

House ethics rules require that when a member is indicted or formally charged with a criminal offense to either launch an investigative subcommittee (ISC) or report its reasons for not launching one within 30 days.

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Bowman was charged with one misdemeanor on Oct. 26.

An arrest warrant filed by U.S. Capitol Police Supervisory Special Agent Joseph McAtee stated that police were notified on Sept. 30 at 12:05 p.m. that a fire alarm had been pulled on the second floor of the Cannon House Office Building.

When Bowman was interviewed by Capitol Police agents, he told them he responded “yes” when asked if he knew anything about the fire alarm. The Democrat representative said he was in a rush because votes were being called, adding that the door is usually open.

Bowman, according to the arrest warrant, told the agents he saw the nearby doors with a sign that said, “Emergency exit only push to open,” so “he pushed on the door and pulled the lever next to it, which must have been the alarm.”

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“[Bowman] advised that usually when votes are called, all doors are open, and that door is usually open (the second-floor door leading to Independence Ave),” the warrant states. “The defendant further stated that this door was a usual door he uses. The defendant advised that he then went to a Dem (Democratic) meeting and a vote at the Capitol, then the House Sergeant at Arms contacted him.”

Bowman told Fox News after being charged that he was “happy for the quick resolution,” adding that he has a plea agreement with prosecutors.

According to Bowman, the plea agreement requires him to pay a $1,000 fine and “stay out of trouble for three months.”

“It was a lapse of judgment, if you will. … Wasn’t a conscious decision to do something wrong,” he said.

Fox News’ Adam Sabes and Kelly Phares contributed to this report.

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