Watch: Byron Donalds Torches Media Over Bowman’s ‘7th Grade’ Punishment

The punishment meted out to Democratic Rep. Jamaal Bowman of New York for pulling a fire alarm on Capitol Hill Sept. 30, causing an evacuation of the Cannon House Office Building, drew mockery from Republican Rep. Byron Donalds of Florida. Bowman pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of falsely pulling a fire alarm, and will pay $1,000 as a fine as well as write a letter of apology, according to the New York Post. “What was it? A misdemeanor? He has to pay a fine? Is that what happened?” Donalds said in a video posted to social media platform X. Donalds was then told about the letter of apology Bowman has to write to the Capitol Police. “What, are we in seventh grade?” Donalds said. “That’s what the judge ordered,” the reporter replied. Donalds then said the punishments for disrupting Congress do not seem even. “Let me get something straight: January 6th was a terrible day. It was terrible. I was here, I was on the House Floor. There were people who did things that I think they should not have done. I’ve said that from day one,” he said. “There were also other people, when the doors were open, right, wrong, or indifferent, they walked into the building. They were given what? Two years, three years, four years? And my colleague has to write a letter?” Donalds said. “This is one of the problems overall. I’m going to leave that to ethics, and I’m going to leave it to the Speaker,” he said, discussing whether Bowman should be punished by the House. Donalds said prosecutors and judges in the District of Columbia “wield the system differently, depending upon your political party.” Having raised the issue of the Capitol incursion, Donalds stood his ground when asked about the vote to certify the 2020 election. “My voters sent me here to represent them,” he said, adding “Members are allowed to vote how they choose. You may not like the vote, but that is how they vote. “And the only people who can decide whether they’re qualified to represent them any more are the people that sent them here in the first place, not the press, not lawyers and judges,” he said, noting that in his opinion, judges are dispensing justice “in a disgusting way.” Bowman said likening him to the Jan. 6 protesters was “crazy,” according to the U.K. Guardian. “Yeah, that’s crazy, immediately likening me to insurrectionists, what happened on January 6. I mean, this is what they do. They weaponize any opportunity they can … so we don’t focus on their own dysfunction and destruction of their own party,” he said. Bowman had said he was trying to get to the House chambers for a vote and pulled the alarm, thinking it would open a door. Since then, video has surfaced showing him removing warning signs from the door before pulling the alarm.
Kendra Arnold, executive director of the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust, said that revelation should result in punishment from the House Ethics Committee, according to the Gazette. “The facts are now clear. Along with his guilty plea, the video released today clearly shows Bowman’s actions were completely inconsistent with his prior statement that he ‘activated the fire alarm, mistakenly thinking it would open the door,'” she said. “The video shows Bowman removing the signs from the door and then pulling the fire alarm as he was walking away from the door — he did NOT attempt to exit the building after pulling the alarm. The video and his guilty plea clearly demonstrate the story he told was an attempt to cover up his actions. “Clearly when a criminal offense is committed and brazen dishonesty is displayed, a Member’s conduct does not satisfy this ethics rule. In fact, a House resolution requires action by the House Ethics Committee whenever a Member is charged with felony or misdemeanor criminal conduct,” Arnold said. “Not only must the Office of Congressional Ethics and House Ethics Committee act and enforce the ethics rules, but they must also impose a serious punishment to deter this type of behavior in the future,” she said.
    This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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