What are the charges against Michael Shapiro? Florida man arrested for threatening to kill Rep. Eric Swalwell and his kids

Eric Swalwell has been threatened by a Florida man (Image via Facebook / Eric Swalwell / VISIT FLORIDA)
Eric Swalwell has been threatened by a Florida man (Image via Facebook / Eric Swalwell / VISIT FLORIDA)

Florida man Michael Shapiro, 72, is accused of making multiple threats to harm Representative Eric Swalwell and his kids in a series of recent voicemail messages. According to the court documents obtained by sources like NBC, on December 19, Shapiro allegedly called the congressman's Washington, DC, office from his Greenacres home in the evening and left five threatening voicemails.

Shapiro appeared in court for the first time on Wednesday, January 3, after being arrested that morning. According to a copy of the lawsuit that Click Orlando was able to get, the senior citizen is accused of trying to intimidate Eric Swalwell.

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Although his name was not mentioned in the court filings, as per sources like the Independent, Swalwell acknowledged that he and his family were the targets of the threats. As per the same source, addressing the voicemails, Representative Swalwell stated on Wednesday night:

“There is no place in America for threats of political violence. We must always resolve our differences at the ballot box. While I will continue to protect my family and staff, these continued threats will never stop me from representing my constituents”.

Eric Swalwell and his family threatened by Florida man over voicemail

Eric Swalwell was accused of many things (Image via Facebook / Eric Swalwell / VISIT FLORIDA)
Eric Swalwell was accused of many things (Image via Facebook / Eric Swalwell / VISIT FLORIDA)

A Florida man was arrested on Wednesday and accused of making death threats against Swalwell, who is a member of Congress, and his children. In relation to the five voicemails that he left, Shapiro made his public appearance in the court on Wednesday, according to the Justice Department. His next appearance is set on January 24 after he was freed on bond.

According to the court documents, in one message to the legislator's office, addressing Eric Swalwell:

“I’m gonna come after you and kill you,” Shapiro stated.

The same documents also stated that Shapiro made another threat to Eric Swalwell:

“I’m gonna kill your children”.

The court document stating Shapiro's appearance in the Southern District of Florida states that he was "found to be indigent." His legal representative was assigned to be the public defender's office.

Moreover, in the series of such messages, Shapiro also referred to Eric Swalwell as a "greaseball" and "a Chinese spy," citing claims that the congressman was connected to a possible Chinese intelligence agent.

This was in reference to the fact that the House Ethics Committee terminated its 2021 probe into Swalwell last year due to claims that he was connected to Christine Fang, a suspected Chinese spy.

The accusation was prompted by a report published by Axios, which claimed that Fang assisted in placing an intern in Swalwell's office and was involved in fundraising efforts for his 2014 re-election campaign.

Swalwell said in a post to X:

“No threat is going to stop me from representing my constituents”.
Eric Swalwell's X post that he uploaded (Image via X / @RepSwalwell)
Eric Swalwell's X post that he uploaded (Image via X / @RepSwalwell)

He added that he was "not going away”.


The 72-year-old has been accused of threatening people before. Shapiro allegedly entered a guilty plea in federal court in 2019 for sending threatening messages to a different victim, according to the prosecution. Addressing the same, the Justice Department also said:

“The complaint further alleges that Shapiro pleaded guilty in federal court in 2019 for making threatening communications to another victim".

However, in response to the increase in threats made against members of Congress in recent years, House Democrats last month established a task committee on lawmakers' security.

Meanwhile, a request for comment on Wednesday night was not immediately answered by the lawyer associated with Shapiro.

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Edited by Prem Deshpande