Trump says Bowman should be jailed for ‘egregious act’ of pulling fire alarm
Former President Trump said Sunday that Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) should be jailed for the “egregious act” of pulling the fire alarm Saturday ahead of the House’s vote on a stopgap measure to keep the government open past the midnight deadline.
“Will Congressman Jamal Bowman be prosecuted and imprisoned for very dangerously pulling and setting off the main fire alarm system in order to stop a Congressional vote that was going on in D.C.,” Trump wrote in a Truth Social post Sunday. “His egregious act is covered on tape, a horrible display of nerve and criminality.”
Trump’s post comes after Bowman a day earlier acknowledged he triggered a fire alarm Saturday in the Cannon House Office Building, forcing the building to evacuate. Bowman claimed it was an accident as he rushed to vote on a last-minute bipartisan stopgap funding bill rolled out by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) earlier in the day.
“Today, as I was rushing to make a vote, I came to a door that is usually open for votes but today would not open. I am embarrassed to admit that I activated the fire alarm, mistakenly thinking it would open the door. I regret this and sincerely apologize for any confusion this caused.”
“But I want to be very clear, this was not me, in any way, trying to delay any vote. It was the exact opposite — I was trying urgently to get to a vote, which I ultimately did and joined my colleagues in a bipartisan effort to keep our government open,” he continued.
Republicans quickly accused the New York Democrat of intentionally trying to sabotage the high-stakes vote.
Trump claimed Bowman’s act was a “very dangerous ‘Obstruction of an Official Proceeding,'” the same charge that dozens face in connection with the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack.
“It was a very dangerous ‘Obstruction of an Official Proceeding,’ the same as used against our J-6 prisoners,” Trump wrote. “Actually, his act may have been worse. HE MUST SUFFER THEIR SAME FATE. WHEN WILL HIS TRIAL BEGIN???”
Trump’s words echo those made by McCarthy, who appeared to compare Bowman to those charged in connection with the events of Jan. 6, 2021, while speaking to reporters Saturday.
In August, Trump himself was charged with conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding and obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding in connection to his alleged efforts to remain in power after losing the 2020 presidential election.
House Administration Committee Chairman Bryan Steil (R-Wis.) said Saturday he will launch an investigation into Bowman’s incident and claimed the committee has a video of the incident.
Capitol Police said they are also investigating the incident, confirming a fire alarm was pulled around 12:05 p.m. Saturday on the second floor of the Cannon building.
Bowman did eventually get to vote in favor of McCarthy’s continuing resolution, which passed in a 335-91 vote Saturday, with one Democrat and 90 Republicans voting in opposition.
The resolution, which was later passed in the Senate in a 88-9 vote, will fund the government at current spending levels through Nov. 17 while Congress works to negotiate the remaining appropriations bills.