CV NEWS FEED // Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-NY, who just days ago pulled a fire alarm on Capitol Hill, has blamed his staff for a message they sent out that referred to his Republican political opponents as “Nazis.”
The embattled far-left congressman is facing a GOP-led effort to expel him from the chamber after he activated the alarm in the Cannon House Office Building Saturday afternoon, resulting in a “floor-by-floor” evacuation just ahead of a vote that House Democrats were trying to delay.
The Capitol Police are still investigating the incident.
Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, R-NY, introduced an expulsion resolution in the House Monday. The motion has received 12 co-sponsors, all Republicans.
The congresswoman mentioned that her controversial colleague had worked in a school as both a teacher and a principal for about two decades.
“Someone who is not just a United States member of Congress, but was a former school principal, knows that there are consequences to pulling a false fire alarm,” she said. “If this was a school student, he would be suspended or expelled. And this should be taken even more seriously considering that this was done in the halls of government.”
The bizarre turn of events took place before the House was set to vote on funding the government and avoiding a shutdown. Many observers deduce that Bowman may have pulled the alarm to prevent a vote on the measure, which was ultimately successful.
The congressman later claimed that he had set the fire alarm off by accident in order to open one of the building’s doors.
This door was marked with a sign that read “Emergency Exit Only!” and “Push until alarm sounds (3 seconds). Door will unlock in 30 seconds.”
Hours after the incident, Bowman’s Chief of Staff Sarah Iddrissu took to X (formerly known as Twitter) to defend her boss.
“Congressman Bowman did not realize he would trigger a building alarm as he was rushing to make an urgent vote,” Iddrissu wrote in a heavily criticized post. “The Congressman regrets any confusion.” Iddrissu is also a former teacher.
Bowman’s office has since doubled down on their assertions that the alarm-pulling was accidental, going to great lengths to smear Republican critics.
In an apparent attempt to seek help from the offices of other House Democrats, Bowman’s staff circulated a memo that included a list of “talking points” on how to deflect from the gravity of their boss’ actions.
“I believe Congressman Bowman when he says this was an accident,” it said. “Republicans need to instead focus their energy on the Nazi members of their party before anything else.”
The subsequent talking point alleged that “there are multiple insurrectionist supporters and more who supported a coup.”
“That’s what [the GOP] should be focused on,” the memo stated. “Instead their focus on Rep. Bowman is an attempt to minimize January 6.”
Following significant backlash, Bowman attempted to distance himself from his office’s memo, claiming his staff included the epithet “Nazi” without consulting him.
“I just became aware that in our messaging guidance, there was inappropriate use of the term Nazi without my consent,” he wrote on X. “I condemn the use of the term Nazi out of its precise definition.”
“It is important to specify the term Nazi to refer to members of the Nazi party [and] neo-Nazis,” he added.
Michael Gerald, a Baptist pastor and former police officer challenging Bowman in the Democratic primary for his House seat next year, slammed the unusual talking points and the Congressman’s “lack of moral judgment.”
“To invoke that sort of language is catastrophic,” Gerald said in an interview with The New York Post.
The Post reported:
“He heard, as we all did going to school, ‘Don’t pull the fire alarm,’” [Gerald] went on, noting Bowman must have “presided over a countless number of fire drills” as a former middle school principal.
As a former New Jersey state trooper, Gerald also said it was a “very irresponsible and a dereliction of duty” to flee the scene.
Bowman has served in Congress since 2021 after defeating a longtime incumbent in the Democratic primary.
A self-professed socialist, he is a member of “The Squad,” a group of eight far-left House members, including Reps. Ilhan Omar, D-MN, and Rashida Tlaib, D-MI.