A government watchdog group is calling for an investigation into Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., infamously pulling a fire alarm in a congressional office building, which Republicans believe was intended to disrupt a budget vote.
On Friday, the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT) demanded the Office of Congressional Ethics open an inquiry into his actions in a complaint that also called for a probe into whether Bowman abused government resources for political purposes through his social media accounts.
“Rep. Bowman’s continued abuse of official resources shows a complete disregard for federal law and House Ethics Rules, and it is frustrating for the American public to see this go on without repercussion,” FACT president Kendra Arnold said. “In light of our previous complaint, there is simply no credible claim that he doesn’t know the rules that govern social media usage, which shows he’s intentionally not following them.”
“Furthermore, his disruption of official proceedings by pulling the fire alarm warrant further scrutiny by the OCE,” Arnold said. “The OCE has a duty to hold Members accountable to the law and ethics rules on behalf of the American public, and we encourage them to do so here,” said Kendra Arnold, Executive Director of FACT.”
Bowman activated the alarm in late September, ahead of a crucial House vote in one of the House of Representatives office buildings, which triggered an evacuation. It occurred just after Republicans announced they would rush a stopgap spending bill known as a “continuing resolution” to the House floor.
Bowman claimed he has pulled the fire alarm believing it would open a door he had been trying to exit through. He also asserted that he was not trying to delay a vote, which Republicans did not buy.
“It’s very clear it was a fire alarm,” Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, R-N.Y, said. “If you wanted to push the door open like he claims, perhaps an alarm would have gone off, but that’s not what he did. And also, there’s access to the Capitol through many different ways. It’s not just through the doors.”
FACT, likewise, believes that Bowman deliberately set off the fire alarm.
“He simply cannot credibly claim he doesn’t know the difference between a fire alarm and an automatic door button, and it’s clear he did not pull the alarm for a legitimate reason,” FACT wrote in its complaint.
“There is no question that he intentionally set off the fire alarm, regardless of whether his motive for doing so was to delay a vote or to use a door that was not permitted,” the group said. “For either motive it was an intentional act that violated House Ethics Rules, and his clear disregard for federal law and ethics rules as shown above must be considered when assessing his actions here.”
FACT’s complaint also calls for the ethics office to probe what they say is a pattern of Bowman using official government resources for political purposes. According to the watchdog, Bowman has posted official content on his campaign social media account, violating ethics rules.
“Since April, Bowman’s unethical use of government resources has not only continued but has grown even more egregious,” the complaint states. “First, he has continued to post official content on his campaign social media account but he has also attempted to portray his campaign social media account as an official account.”
“Moreover, on his campaign account, he has continued to regularly post official content, such as video of House floor proceedings,” the group later said.
Bowman’s posts “violating federal law and ethics rules are too numerous to include” in the complaint, FACT wrote.
Bowman’s office did not immediately respond to a Fox News Digital request for comment.