'Cut his kids' heads off:' Rep. Eric Swalwell receiving threats after FBI's Mar-a-Lago raid

ByTim Johns KGO logo
Friday, August 12, 2022
Rep. Swalwell receiving threats following FBI's Mar-a-Lago raid
Rep. Eric Swalwell and his family received violent, threatening voicemail after the FBI raided Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The Federal Bureau of Investigation's raid on Former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate is fueling a spike in anti-government rhetoric, which included a voicemail to Bay Area congressman Eric Swalwell and his family.

A one-minute and 48-second voicemail was left for the congressman at his district office in Castro Valley.

"I hope someone cuts that motherf****r throat from ear to ear. Cut his f*****g head off. Swalwell's a worthless piece of s**t. Cut his wife's head off, cut his kids' heads off. I don't give a f**k."

That was just a small sample of the message that included 55 profanities with multiple swear words and racial slurs used.

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"I'm going to do everything I can to protect my family, but I'm not going to be intimidated," Swalwell said.

Swalwell has been the target of extremists before, and he's certainly not alone.

The Anti-Defamation League says following the FBI raid at Mar-a-Lago Monday, violent far-right rhetoric exploded online.

For a period of time, the phrase "civil war" was even trending on Twitter.

"What we are seeing are unprecedented numbers right now, and it's really terrifying," said the ADL's Teresa Drenick.

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A recent UC Davis survey found that over 50% of Americans expect a civil war in the United States in the "next several years."

For Swalwell, the growing trend poses a grave danger not just for himself and his family, but also for the nation as a whole.

"Our country's at a very dangerous point right now in its history. I would say democracy is on life support," he said.

Swalwell worries that what was once on the fringes of the internet is now becoming more mainstream.

Some of it, even being repeated by a number of elected officials.

He's calling on all his colleagues in Congress to tone down the rhetoric.

"That fires people up and that makes them think that they have to take up arms against a lawless government when that's just not the case," Swalwell said.

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Perhaps even more dangerous, Swalwell says, is that many of those officials parroting extremist views, don't actually believe much of what they're saying.

According to Swalwell, they're just doing it to score political points.

"The danger with that mindset is that the quote, unquote fans, their constituents, don't see it that way and they interpret it as real," he said.

But despite the rise in extremism, Swalwell says he still holds much hope for America. Saying there's much more that unites us, than keeps us apart.

"Most of us in this country, whether it's gun safety, healthcare, the environment, money in politics, we really want the same things," Swalwell said.

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