Former Middle School Principal Jamaal Bowman Attacks ‘Nazi’ Republicans After Pulling Fire Alarm as Democrats Tried to Delay Vote

Two days after yanking a fire alarm while House Democrats were trying to delay a vote to avert a government shutdown, Rep. Jamaal Bowman had to backtrack after his office circulated talking points calling Republicans “Nazis.”


Two days after yanking a fire alarm while House Democrats were trying to delay a vote to avert a government shutdown, Rep. Jamaal Bowman had to backtrack after his office circulated talking points calling Republicans “Nazis.”

  • Bowman’s press secretary sent a memo to all House Democratic congressional offices that included talking points if any of his colleagues were interested in defending his actions. One suggested response was: “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.”
  • Bowman quickly threw his aide under the bus and disavowed the memo.
  • “I just became aware that in our messaging guidance, there was inappropriate use of the term Nazi without my consent,” Bowman posted 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 & neo-Nazis.”
  • The outspoken progressive from New York and member of the “Squad” of far-left Democrats said initially that he was “embarrassed to admit that I activated the fire alarm, mistakenly thinking it would open the door. I regret this and sincerely apologize for any confusion this caused.”
  • US Capitol Police are investigating the incident. USCP did not identify Bowman by name in a statement, but confirmed they were investigating “a man was seen trying to exit the door in the Cannon Building and then pulling the fire alarm that prompted the evacuation.”
  • Capitol Police said they have security footage of Bowman trying to leave the building before yanking the alarm. They also observed signs “with clear language” indicated that the doors were an emergency exit.
  • House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and many House Republicans don’t buy it, and think Bowman pulled the alarm on purpose to derail the shutdown vote. McCarthy compared Bowman to the Jan. 6 Capitol rioters who also sought to delay a congressional proceeding.
  • Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY) introduced a resolution to expel Bowman from Congress. A two-thirds majority is required for expulsion. Rep. Lisa McClain (R-MI) is circulating a resolution of censure, an official condemnation that only requires a simple majority to pass.
  • Bowman’s decision to pull the fire alarm may have consequences back in his district. Politico reported his actions “quickly added further intrigue that he could face a formidable primary challenge from Westchester County Executive George Latimer,” a moderate Democrat.


reporting from the left side of the aisle


  • The New Republic’s Edith Olmsted argued Republican criticisms of Bowman are part of “their campaign to downplay the January 6 insurrection.” Olmsted dismissed any comparisons between Bowman’s alleged attempt to delay a congressional vote and the Jan. 6 riots as “distinctly detached from reality.”
  • New York Magazine’s Ben Jacobs covered “how Jamaal Bowman tried to spin pulling a Capitol Hill fire alarm.” Jacobs followed the trail of Bowman’s explanations for his actions and called the entire incident “the wildest thing to happen on Capitol Hill this past weekend besides a potential shutdown.”
  • Axios’ Andrew Solender reported “Democratic staffers were transfixed and bewildered by a messaging memo that Bowman’s office sent out on Monday afternoon –before restricting access to it seven minutes later.” Axios viewed emails that indicated that access to the Google Docs memo calling Republicans Nazis “was restricted ‘as it was leaked to reporters,’ with Bowman’s office urging staffers who want messaging to reach out directly.”



  • National Review’s Jeffrey Blehar pointed out “The question of whether Jamaal Bowman, a multi-term veteran of Capitol Hill as well as a literate adult in full possession of his mental and physical faculties, intentionally pulled a fire alarm clearly marked ‘FIRE ALARM’ is a misdirection that Bowman and his defenders would prefer you to waste your time litigating. There is no point in doing so. He did it on purpose.”
  • Fox News’ Jonathan Turley argued that given the “relatively minor” nature of Bowman’s offense and its status as a likely misdemeanor under DC law would be “better addressed through a House censure and other in-house consequences” rather than expulsion. Turley concludes, “Expulsion needs to remain the nuclear option when all other avenues are unavailable. The best avenue remains the voters.”
  • Breitbart’s Bradley Jaye observed that Bowman “by throwing his staffer under the bus, seemed to suggest that the memo was sent without his consent. Bowman has called Democratic colleagues insisting that he did not approve the statement” calling Republicans Nazis. Jaye pointed out that despite Bowman’s comments condemning “the use of the term Nazi out of its precise definition,” Bowman called commentator Michael Knowles “a Nazi hellbent on keeping only white men alive and in power” just this past March.


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© Dominic Moore, 2023