Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) ripped down two signs warning a second floor door in the Cannon House Office Building was for emergency use only before pulling the fire alarm and running out through a different door on a different floor, Breitbart News has learned exclusively.
Multiple sources familiar with the investigation into Bowman pulling the fire alarm in the House, which triggered a full scale law enforcement and emergency services response leading to the evacuation of the building, told Breitbart News exclusively that Bowman ripped two signs down and threw then on the ground first.
The sources familiar with the investigation provided Breitbart News with photographs of the scene of the alleged crime later after the emergency door had been restored after the damage Bowman did to it.
In the photos of the double doors with glass windows, there are clearly two giant red signs on the door—they both say “EMERGENCY EXIT ONLY—PUSH UNTIL ALARM SOUNDS (3 SECONDS) DOOR WILL UNLOCK IN 30 SECONDS.”
There is also another sign on a stand in front of the door that makes it clear this is an “EMERGENCY EXIT ONLY.”
Off to the left on the wall is the fire alarm that Bowman pulled. The fire alarm clearly states it is a FIRE alarm.
The photograph of Bowman pulling the fire alarm, which Capitol Police already released publicly, shows the two red signs that are normally affixed to the door are no longer there.
🚨🚨NEW — Capitol Police are circulating this photo of a man pulling the fire alarm in Cannon. Looks a lot like Jamaal Bowman pic.twitter.com/khzpigSvWI
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) September 30, 2023
A source familiar with the matter said Bowman casually, as the House was holding open the House Democrats’ motion to adjourn vote earlier in the day, walked up to the door and then ripped the emergency signs off and threw them on the ground.
“He ripped both of them off the door and threw them both on the floor,” the source familiar with the investigation told Breitbart News.
“Then, he leaned into the door and tried to open it,” the source added. “Then, he pulled the fire alarm. When the alarm begins going off, he turned around and ran—going down to the first floor of Cannon and exited out of a different door then made his way across the street to votes. At no point did he say to anyone ‘sorry this is a mistake’ or ‘sorry I pulled the fire alarm by mistake’ or anything like that. He didn’t say anything to anyone until he was confronted by Capitol Police later. By doing what he did he caused a whole building to be evacuated. Capitol Police and emergency services need to treat any alarm like a real threat until they know otherwise.”
These facts undercut Bowman’s official public statement that he was trying to get out of the door. He did not, per the source familiar with the matter, wait the 30 seconds the signs said to wait for the emergency door to open—and he clearly did not follow the instructions on the emergency signs.
Bowman later told reporters: “I thought the alarm would open the door.”
Bowman tells reporters “I thought the alarm would open the door.”
— Juliegrace Brufke (@juliegraceb) September 30, 2023
That statement from the congressman himself came after his spokesperson had previously issued a statement claiming he was rushing to get to votes on the floor.
“Congressman Bowman did not realize he would trigger a building alarm as he was rushing to make an urgent vote,” Bowman’s spokesperson said. “The Congressman regrets any confusion.”
NEW: Bowman spox Emma Simon on him pulling the fire alarm.
“Congressman Bowman did not realize he would trigger a building alarm as he was rushing to make an urgent vote. The Congressman regrets any confusion.”
— Andrew Solender (@AndrewSolender) September 30, 2023
Obviously, the sign says otherwise.
However, what really seems to be going on here is that Democrats in the House were desperately trying any tactics they could—the motion to adjourn vote which failed, the House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries delaying using as much time as he could through his “magic minute” which allows the opposition leader to speak for as long as they like, and through disinformation their committee staffers were disseminating about the House GOP’s funding bill—in order to buy their counterparts in the Senate time to pass a Democrat funding measure. The main difference between House and Senate funding packages is that the Senate plan led by Senate Democrats provides billions of taxpayer dollars for Ukraine, whereas the House-passed plan provides zero dollars for Ukraine.
In other words, it appears Bowman—who has been in Congress for nearly three years now and would understand all this about emergency doors and rushing to votes—pulled the fire alarm as part of a delay tactic to help buy the Democrats time.
When their delay tactics failed and the House passed the GOP funding plan, the Democrats changed their tune and began singing its praises—even though it provides zero money for Ukraine—and they all, once they recognized defeat, voted for it and claimed they won.
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