In late September, Democratic "Squad" member Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) forced the evacuation of a House office building on the Capitol complex and briefly delayed a vote on a spending bill when he pulled a fire alarm, a criminal incident that he insisted at the time was an unintended mistake.
Now, coinciding with a lenient plea deal for the congressman, a video clip of the incident has been released that sharply undermines his prior claims about what occurred, according to Breitbart.
Contrary to his initial assertion that he accidentally pulled the fire alarm to try and exit through a locked door that is usually open, the video shows the New York congressman deliberately removing two warning signs on the door and then pulling the alarm and walking away without actually attempting to go through the exit from the building.
The RNC Research X-Twitter account on Thursday posted the previously unseen video clip with a caption that read: "Democrat Rep. Jamaal Bowman removes warning signs before pulling the fire alarm in a House office building last month."
The footage clearly shows Bowman approach the door and remove a pair of red warning signs sitting on the horizontal push handles before turning to pull the fire alarm on the wall next to the door and then immediately walking back toward where he came from without ever attempting to open the emergency exit door.
🚨 NEW FOOTAGE: Democrat Rep. Jamaal Bowman removes warning signs before pulling the fire alarm in a House office building last month pic.twitter.com/dhwOQN2G6y
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) October 26, 2023
That video clip appears to confirm Breitbart's disputed prior reporting that Rep. Bowman had thrown to the floor the red warning signs -- which contained instructions on how to open the emergency exit -- and then pulled the clearly marked fire alarm on the wall before hustling away from the scene to exit the building from another door on another floor of the House office building.
It also clearly contradicts the statement Bowman released immediately after the incident, in which he said, "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."
That false account of what happened would be repeated in the days following the incident, including in a Politico report about a talking points memo Bowman's office sent out to fellow House Democrats that repeated the lie and sought to shift public attention to "Nazi" Republicans and their own internal problems.
"I was just trying to get to my vote. The door thatʼs usually open wasnʼt open. I didnʼt mean to cause confusion. I didnʼt know it was going to trip the whole building. I thought [the alarm] would help me open the door," the dishonest congressman falsely explained to his colleagues.
Whether Rep. Bowman faces any additional trouble for his now-exposed lie as well as the removal of the emergency exit's warning signs remains to be seen, as the congressman already appears to have skirted any real accountability for his actions with a slight slap on the wrist from the U.S. Attorney for Washington D.C.
According to the Associated Press, Bowman pleaded guilty in a deal with prosecutors to a misdemeanor charge for pulling a false alarm that will result in his paying a $1,000 fine, issuing a public apology, and serving three months of probation, after which the entire incident will be cleared from his record.
In a statement posted to social media on Wednesday, the congressman thanked prosecutors and police for the "quick resolution" and reiterated his insistence that he "did not obstruct nor intend to obstruct any House vote or proceedings" while he looked forward to "these charges being ultimately dropped" once he met the conditions of the plea deal.
He snidely added, "I think we all know that Republicans will attempt to use this to distract everyone from their mess, but I look forward to putting this behind me and to continue working hard to deliver for New Yorkers."