No, The Bowman Controversy Does Not Warrant Expulsion

Below is my column in on the controversy involving Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., and his pulling the fire alarm during the voting on the stopgap budget measure.

Here is the column:

Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., has problems opening doors. That is the defense being put forward by supporters after Bowman was videotaped pulling a fire alarm in the middle of the heated budget negotiations and then running away.

Bowman now claims that he was faced with a closed door clearly marked with signs saying that the doors were only to be use in cases of emergency and alarms would sound. The New York Democrat was in front of the door without staffers and allegedly confused by the signs on it… So, he pulled a clearly marked fire alarm because he thought that is how you open a door.

Republicans have suggested an alternative explanation: Bowman was attempting to disrupt the budget vote as Democrats were demanding more time after Republicans put forward another stopgap measure.

Now some commentators, conservatives, voters, and members of Congress are calling for Bowman to be expelled.

I have previously called Bowman the perfect personification of our dysfunctional political times. He was shown on videotape screaming about gun control in the Capitol as his colleagues left the floor following a vote. Various Democratic members, including former House Majority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., tried to calm Bowman. However, when Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., asked Bowman to stop yelling, Bowman shouted back: “I was screaming before you interrupted me.” I previously noted that it could go down as the perfect epitaph for our age of rage.

However, this is more than a good rave next to the House floor. It could be a crime. If it were intended to disrupt the congressional proceedings, it could be treated as a felony.

In D.C., this would more likely constitute a criminal misdemeanor. It would also obviously be treated as sanctionable conduct under the House rules.

Bowman is not the only member looking at demands for expulsion. Various Republicans want to see Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla, expelled over long-standing ethical complaints stemming from his scandal involving alleged drug abuse and bribery.

There are also the long-standing calls for the expulsion of Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., over his own scandal involving pending criminal charges.

Some have noted that the Cornerstone Academy for Social Action in the Bronx, where Bowman was principal, reserved the right to expel students who pulled fire alarms. However, students are not elected to middle school to carry out constitutional functions as representatives of others.

Democrat Jamaal Bowman, Ed.D., represents New York’s 16th District in the United States House of Representatives.

Expulsion remains a rare remedy in Congress. Despite hundreds of years of often deep and angry political divisions, only 20 members have been expelled and only 5 were expelled from the House. Think of that for a moment. Five House members in the prior roughly 250 years. We now have 3 in one year being considered.

The last time three members were up for expulsion, it was due to their support for the South in the Civil War.

The House has had members that make the pirates of Penzance look like teetotalers. Past members have included some who were embodiments of the greedy and the grotesque.

The lack of expulsions historically has reflected an understanding that the use of this power can lead to a type of expulsion compulsion. Particularly in the House where members stand for office every two years, the voters are more than capable of determining whether scandals should disqualify a member from serving further. Rep. Gaetz was reelected despite the allegations against him, and he has not been charged with a crime.

The evidence and the need for an expulsion should be overwhelming for the choice of voters to be negated by the body of the whole. In Bowman’s case, the criminal act is captured on videotape, but it is also likely a misdemeanor. Given the relatively minor offense, this would seem a matter better addressed through a House censure and other in-house consequences.

Expulsion needs to remain the nuclear option when all other avenues are unavailable. The best avenue remains the voters.

In the meantime, if doors continue to perplex Rep. Bowman, the residents of the New York 16th can decide whether to show him the exit in the next election.


22–1319. False alarms and false reports; hoax weapons.

(a) It shall be unlawful for any person or persons to willfully or knowingly give a false alarm of fire within the District of Columbia, and any person or persons violating the provisions of this subsection shall, upon conviction, be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and be punished by a fine not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01 or by imprisonment for not more than 6 months, or by both such fine and imprisonment. Prosecutions for violation of the provisions of this subsection shall be on information filed in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia by the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia.

(a-1) It shall be unlawful for any person or persons to willfully or knowingly use, or allow the use of, the 911 call system to make a false or fictitious report or complaint which initiates a response by District of Columbia emergency personnel or officials when, at the time of the call or transmission, the person knows the report or complaint is false. Any person or persons violating the provisions of this subsection shall, upon conviction, be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and be punished by a fine not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01 or by imprisonment for not more than 6 months. Prosecutions for violation of the provisions of this subsection shall be on information filed in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia by the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia.

125 thoughts on “No, The Bowman Controversy Does Not Warrant Expulsion”

    joblo the lying mentally ill gov ho

  2. ” Bowman’s communication director circulated a list of talking points to fellow House Democrats on how they can defend Bowman when asked about his fire alarm controversy. On Saturday, while Democrats were trying to delay a vote on the continuing resolution, Bowman pulled the fire alarm

    . “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,” one of the talking points read.

    Bowman later had to apologize for using the term Nazi in the memo, saying it was used without his knowledge.

    “I just became aware that in our messaging guidance, there was inappropriate use of the term Nazi without my consent,” Bowman said in a post on X, the social media site formerly known as Twitter. “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.” lolololololol SURE THANG LIBTUDRD ! lie lie lie lie lie then lie some more

  3. “It is possible that Bowman could be charged with three crimes and receive a maximum sentence of nearly 36 years, according to D.C. and federal laws.

    The lesser of the three offenses is a false emergency report. Under D.C. law, it is a misdemeanor and punishable by up to six months in prison and a $1,000 fine.

    Falsely pulling a fire alarm could also constitute illegal obstruction of congressional proceedings, a felony under federal law 18 U.S.C. § 1505. The felony is punishable by no more than five years. The law calls for eight years if the offense involves domestic or international terrorism, which could not apply in Bowman’s case.

    Bowman’s act could also conceivably be tried as an obstruction of justice charge under D.C. law, which includes “corruptly, or by threats of force, any way obstructs or impedes or endeavors to obstruct or impede the due administration of justice in any official proceeding.” This Class A felony would carry a punishment of at least three years and no more than 30 years and a fine as low as $12,500.

    If he received the highest sentence, Bowman could spend 35 years and 6 months in jail.”

  4. Our regular commentator Anonymous has pointed out several times that the alarm was set off in an office building near the Capitol building.  It just so happens that the discussions of a bill and compromises are made in this building and not in the Capitol rotunda.  Consequently the process was indeed interrupted by this buffoonish act.  I read this different building talking point in the left wing media.  Anonymous once again pulls the lever and gets her pellet.  

    1. Anonymous once again pulls the lever and gets her pellet.  

      Operant conditioning
      Thinkitthrough does not
      Needs Dopamine fix

      Irony of this 
      Is that there isn’t any. 
      It is just haiku.

      TL;DR: A Haiku of Stop Mentioning the Damn Trolls!

    2. Pity that you have such difficulty with details. The relevant law refers to an “official proceeding,” not a “process.” Interesting that you have difficulty with gender ID.

    3. The vote was already going on. No discussions were being held. So unless you have some reason to believe that the vote was interrupted, your claim is false.

        1. It doesn’t matter where everyone was. The vote was going on right then. Therefore no fire alarm in a different building could have stopped it, and in fact it was not stopped or delayed, not even by a second.

  5. We should apply the Nixon standard to the demoncrat. The now lefttard hero whose paramour ran the ladies of the night in the Watergate building, concocted the break in plot without Nixon’s knowledge or approval. He got funding and carried it out, and after the fact confessed to Nixon, on the Nixon tapes, can be viewed on the big streaming services. The demoncrats attacked Nixon and blamed him for it, then claimed for decades the cover up is worse than the crime, so they let their libturd hero save his own skin and roasted Nixon out of office.
    Since this current liar and raging lefttard couldn’t help but immediately lie and try desperately to cover up his rage crime, he needs to go, EXPULSION IMMEDIATELY. After all, the entire nation set this standard against a President. GOODBYE LIAR AND COVER UP ARTIST.

  6. In Other News: “Rep. Jamaal Bowman Investigated After Using Fire Hose to Water House Plant”
    The member of congress involved himself in another controversy when he attempted to water a decorative cactus he kept in his office, insisting he never knew hose’s use would trigger a flow-alarm and summon the fire department:

    “The cactus needed watering,” he claimed, “and the fire hose was closer than the water cooler. So what’s the problem?”

  7. According to Democrats and most generous disrupting, an official proceeding is worth 10 to 20 years. Don’t forget! That’s what they did to the January 6 demonstrators. 

    1. A Haiku: Jamaal Bowman

      Fire Alarm pulled git dem whiteys
      Video recorded my black ass in da act
      Dotted line 2 grievance industry

  8. Dear Prof Turley,

    This was most likely an attempted coup. A direct attack on the capital, the institutions of democracy and all that is good and holy. Bowman would probably hang Mike Pence, if he got half a chance.

    *the Q-non Shamen was a beacon of light and hope in comparison.

  9. Get your own facts straight. The vote — the official proceeding — occurs in the Capitol Building NOT the Cannon Building. The proceeding in the Capitol Building was NOT impacted, per the USCP.

    1. You don’t have to be at the Capitol’s Reps. Chamber Floor-Desk to Vote, This can be done in the Representative’s Official office, and in the Cannon’s House Library.

      [Bowman’s Office is in ?}
      Cannon House Office Building (CHOB),
      Longworth House Office Building (LHOB),
      Rayburn House Office Building (RHOB),
      Ford House Office Building (FHOB)office building.] He can cast a vote from there.

      If the Congress had to be “On The Floor” for every vote, then nothing would get done.

      1. Pefect example of Anon bug face posting sh!t with no idea what he is talking about. In the 118th Congress, you must be present to vote. Duh, even Bowman knew that, and he’s a moron.

  10. Let the record show that on the day our country’s most powerful Republican publicly calls NY’s Attorney General “corrupt & a racist” & attacks a judge for ruling that his company spent years defrauding banks & the IRS, Fox News legal contributor, Jonathan Turley, devotes all of his time & energy to blogging & tweeting about a Democratic Congressman, Hunter & Joe Biden, & Gavin Newsom.

    Turley proclaims it’s an “unassailable fact that Joe Biden MAY HAVE benefitted from corruption.” But keep in mind that Professor Turley judiciously believes in our legal system’s presumption of innocence.

    Keep us posted on whether House Republicans expel Bowman for delaying Democrats from overwhelming voting in favor of McCarthy’s stopgap funding bill to prevent our government from shutting down, JT.

  11. Bowman is precisely what one can expect from his constituency. They should have no complaints. It is why NYC and NYS are the way they are. “Those who can, do”; “Those who can’t. teach”; “Those who can’t teach, teach teachers”; “Those who can’t teach teachers, are elected to high office”.

  12. Correction: Professor Turley, you need to get your facts straight regarding Matt Goetz.

    In February, “The Department of Justice has confirmed to Congressman Gaetz’s attorneys that their investigation has concluded and that he will not be charged with any crimes.”

  13. “Bowman did this intentional act to disrupt Congress from their vote with the end goal of forcing a shutdown of the government.”

    You’re not a mind-reader and do not know his goal. The FACT is that he didn’t disrupt any official proceeding. The official proceeding — the vote — was in the Capitol Building, a block away from where Bowman was in the Cannon Building (see the map here: The USCP have confirmed that the fire alarm had no effect in any building other than Cannon.

    1. U.S. Capitol Police confirmed in an earlier statement that the fire alarm caused an EVACUATION of the Cannon office building at 12:05 p.m. Eastern time.

      Therefore, the proceedings WERE impacted.

      Get your facts straight and quit with the false comments.

      1. Get your own facts straight.

        The vote — the official proceeding — occurs in the Capitol Building NOT the Cannon Building. The proceeding in the Capitol Building was NOT impacted, per the USCP.

    2. They didn’t stop the vote. The USCP have confirmed that the fire alarm had no effect in any building other than Cannon.

      1. They stopped the vote?! Prove it. At least show us SOMETHING that makes you think so. You can’t just make things up and claim they happened, without any reason to suppose it’s true.

    3. It was a SECURE congressional meeting, what a gaslighting liberal. His disruption caused all meetings to end. Typical child like swamp creature.

    4. If other Congresspeople were “preparing to make their votes at the Capitol,” then they were likely already in the Capitol Building. Anyone who was in the Cannon Building, evacuated the Cannon Building and walked over to the Capitol Building to vote. Nothing stopped them from going to the Capitol Building to vote. You think they didn’t know how they were going to vote?

      1. YOU prove it. YOU’re the one making a completely unfounded assertion of fact. There is literally NOTHING in any news story to indicate that the vote was stopped.

  14. If we take the evidence at face value and we can use Occam’s Razor to assert a motive…
    He should be charged w a crime and let the courts sort it out.

    That said… he should be held under the same conditions the J6 protesters were kept.

    And he should be ousted.

    Lets face it. Pelosi and company set up a very interesting precedence.
    Just ask Ray Epps.


  15. Perhaps a standardize test on pulling fire alarms and reading signage for emergency exits should be administered to Congressional candidates. Candidates possessing EdD degrees signs of hubris and being insufferable twats could be escorted to a dotted line from Congress-to-prison pipeline ala ex-Congresswoman Corrine Brown, D-FL.

    The following Wiki entry on Bowman “res ipsa loquitur”


    Bowman became a leading advocate against standardized testing.[12][13] His blog on the role of standardized testing has received national attention.[12] He has written about high-stakes testing’s role in perpetuating inequalities,[14] including the turnover, tumult, and vicious cycle it creates in students’ and educators’ lives, as assessment performance damages a school’s ability to teach and, subsequently, the quality of the education upon which the student is assessed. By the mid-2010s, a quarter of Bowman’s students had opted out of standardized testing. He also advocated for children to receive arts, history, and science education in addition to the basics of literacy and numeracy.[12] Bowman’s school policy used a restorative justice model to address the school-to-prison pipeline.[15] After 10 years as principal, he left the job to focus on his congressional campaign.[16]

  16. I agree with the good professor, he should not be expelled or other such actions.
    What he did lacked certain . . . common sense.
    If an accident, I would question his common sense and intelligence.
    If intentional, I would question his common sense and intelligence.
    Regardless, press on with pressing matters like the Army War College essay saying the all volunteer fighting force may have out lived its usefulness, and partial conscription may be necessary, aka The Draft. That is where Biden’s all new, all woke military and proxy forever wars have gotten us to.

    1. @Upstate…
      I for one do not.

      Turley is side stepping the fact that Bowman did this intentional act to disrupt Congress from their vote with the end goal of forcing a shutdown of the government.

      The precedent set was the draconian arrest and confinement of the J6 protesters. Where several have been held without bail in horrific and unhealthy situations, along w being found guilty of disrupting Congress and face multiple years in prison.
      (Some more, some less) Just for walking into the Capitol.

      Therefore Bowman should face those same charges for his intentional disruption. No longer is it just fun and games.
      Pelsoi and company set the ground rules and they need to be held accountable when someone like Bowman does the same thing. (What if someone on his staff started a rumor of a bomb threat that forced the evacuation?

      Sorry Turley, can’t have your cake and eat it too.


    2. Good one, Upstate Farmer! I, too, have been wondering whether the draft should be reinstated.

  17. The best treatment for uncivilized, irrational, thuggish behavior by a duly elected representative would be to publish their offensive behaviors, heavily, within their own district and actively suggest to those constituents if this is the best they can offer up to The United States House of Representatives. Put the onus on those voters and ask if they want their district to be continually outraged and embarrassed by such inappropriate behavior. Make THEM confront the hideous bag of gas that now represents them to the world and then ask them if they think they could do better if they based their selection on merit rather than skin color and ideological fanaticism.

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