(NationalUSNews.com) — Florida authorities arrested a 72-year-old man and charged him with threatening a United States official after he allegedly threatened to murder California Representative Eric Swalwell and his children. According to federal prosecutors, Michael Shapiro left five threatening voicemails for Swalwell throughout December 2023. Among the threats shared by Shapiro are threats to “find and kill” Swalwell and references to Swalwell’s disputed connections to a Chinese intelligence official. The Justice Department didn’t name Swalwell when explaining the charges against Shapiro, but Swalwell confirmed that he was the representative threatened by the Florida citizen.
Despite receiving the threatening messages, Swalwell responded to the incident with defiance. Swalwell accused Shapiro of being a member of the MAGA Republican movement and criticized Republicans by stating they prefer violent actions over voting. Swalwell then said that he wasn’t going to leave his office or the national spotlight, and he encouraged other Democrats against being threatened by Republicans like Shapiro. Despite Swalwell’s accusations, authorities haven’t disclosed any association between Shapiro and the Republican Party.
Shapiro will remain in custody while Capitol Police investigate the threatening messages he left on Swalwell’s phone. Some of Shapiro’s threats focused on Swalwell’s involvement with a Chinese spy, a scandal that resulted in an investigation by the House Ethics Committee. The House Ethics Committee completed its investigation in May 2023 and didn’t issue any consequences against Swalwell, essentially exonerating the representative. Shapiro also focused on Swalwell’s children in the messages, allegedly threatening to harm them after he killed Swalwell. The messages aren’t the first instance of Swalwell receiving threatening messages from someone, as a similar incident occurred in 2022.
In 2022, Pennsylvania authorities arrested a 22-year-old man for making multiple threatening phone calls to Swalwell’s office. In the calls, the man threatens to kill Swalwell’s wife and children, similar to the threats Shapiro allegedly left on Swalwell’s voicemail. Swalwell also received a threatening message from Bruce Miller, a former professional baseball player, whom he reported to Capitol Police.
Authorities have already arrested Shapiro in the past for similar threats, including an incident in 2019 to which the 72-year-old pleaded guilty. Capitol Police are still investigating the threats against Swalwell, and more criminal charges could materialize against Shapiro depending on his messages’ content.
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