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House ethics committee declines to investigate Rep. Jamaal Bowman over fire alarm

The House Ethics Committee has declined to pursue an investigation against Rep. Jamaal Bowman (pictured in September with Rep. Ilhan Omar, D.-Minn.) for pulling a fire alarm during a key congressional vote in September. File Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI
The House Ethics Committee has declined to pursue an investigation against Rep. Jamaal Bowman (pictured in September with Rep. Ilhan Omar, D.-Minn.) for pulling a fire alarm during a key congressional vote in September. File Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 22 (UPI) -- The House ethics committee has declined to initiate an investigation of Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., who was charged with a misdemeanor violation for pulling a fire alarm during a key Congressional vote in September.

The alarm was pulled on Sept. 30 as the U.S. House voted on a stopgap spending measure in anticipation of a possible government shutdown.

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"On October 26, 2023, Rep. Jamaal Bowman was charged by the D.C. Attorney General's office with a misdemeanor violation of making a false alarm of fire," the House ethics committee said in a press release Wednesday.

The committee was tasked with deciding if they will establish an Investigative Subcommittee.

"Within 30 days of a member being indicted or otherwise formally charged with criminal conduct, the committee shall either establish an investigative subcommittee ("ISC") or report to the House describing its reasons for not establishing an ISC," the Ethics Committee said.

The committee said that a majority of its members did not vote to form an ISC.

In October, Bowman admitted to pulling the fire alarm but said occurred accidentally as he tried to open a door.

"I'm thankful for the quick resolution from the District of Columbia Attorney General's office on this issue and grateful that the United States Capitol Police General Counsel's office agrees I did not obstruct nor intend to obstruct any House vote or proceedings," Bowden said in a statement in October.

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"I am responsible for activating the fire alarm, I will be paying the fine issued, and look forward to these charges being ultimately dropped," Bowden continued.

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