Democratic representative accused of pulling fire alarm near Capitol to delay funding vote

Bowman’s suggested defense to fellow Dems: ‘Republicans need to instead focus their energy on the Nazi members of their party’

(As originally published, Mon, October 2nd 2023, 10:07 PM EDT)

WASHINGTON (TND) — The congressman who pulled a fire alarm in a House office building over the weekend is now in hot water over a memo he sent to fellow Democrats — but did he actually write it?

Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., sent the talking points in an effort to stop Republicans, who are in the majority, from punishing him.

Saturday, Bowman pulled the fire alarm in the Cannon House Office Building before the vote that eventually led to a government shutdown being averted.

It caused an evacuation that ended with the all-clear an hour later.

Republicans accused Bowman of trying to delay the vote and have called for everything from his arrest, to censure, to expulsion from the House.

They’ve compared it to the Jan. 6, 2021, riots to stop the Electoral College vote, and the U.S. Capitol Police is investigating.

Monday afternoon, Bowman’s press secretary sent the memo to all House Democratic offices, asking they defend Bowman.

Politico got a copy and reported on one suggested response:

”I believe Congressman Bowman when he says this was an accident. Republicans need to instead focus their energy on the Nazi members of their party before anything else.”

Reporter Nicholas Wu posted on X, the former Twitter, about that at 1:24 p.m. ET.

Two hours later, at 3:23 p.m., Bowman responded on the platform, “I just became aware that in our messaging guidance, there was inappropriate use of the term Nazi without my consent. 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 & neo-Nazis.”

Politico also reported Bowman called other Democrats to say he didn’t actually approve the comparison to Nazis, responsible for millions of murders in the Holocaust.

That controversial comparison has been condemned several times over the past few years:

  • Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., made the comparison about the U.S. deporting migrants under Title 42.

  • Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., now running for president, suggested things are worse than they were for Anne Frank whose family tried to hide from the Nazis, and died in a concentration camp.

  • Bowman critic Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., compared being forced to wear a mask in the House to avoid Covid, to the Holocaust.

Saturday night, Bowman tried to “personally clear up confusion” and wrote, “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.”

He probably won’t need defense from a GOP effort to expel him from the House. That would require a two-thirds majority and many Democratic votes would be needed.

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