Eric Swalwell posts conversation with man who made threats online

SACRAMENTO – East Bay Representative Eric Swalwell took to social media Thursday to reveal the name of a man who made online threats to harm him – and the congressman called the An example incident of how conservative commentators like Fox News host Tucker Carlson radicalize viewers and incite threats of violence.

In a long Twitter feed, Swalwell posted screenshots of an Instagram conversation he had with the man, allegedly a Canadian construction contractor named Jeremy Marshall. The conversation started with the man who sent threats to Swalwell such as “Traitor, you should be shot” and “Traitor, I hope you will be hanged someday”.

Swalwell, D-Dublin, responded politely and, over the course of dozens of messages, uncovered details like the man’s purported name and company. Swalwell said their online report was a ruse to obtain the man’s name for law enforcement.

“Summary: The lies of Tucker and others radicalize people not only in America but around the world,” Swalwell wrote afterwards. “Tucker & Co. know that. And that’s why they tell their lies. They want to incite the crowd.

A Fox News spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Carlson, the Conservative Network’s star commentator, has long clashed with Swalwell, a progressive lawmaker who has become a household name for his role in criticizing former President Donald Trump during his two impeachments.

Swalwell told The Chronicle on Thursday that he posted the conversation because the incident shows how far-right far-right rhetoric has fueled an escalation in daily threats against lawmakers. He said he feared such toxicity could lead to a repeat of the Jan.6 insurgency, when hundreds of Trump supporters attacked Congress in an attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election results. .

“Enough is enough. I’m sick of people thinking they can say that to terrorize me and my family,” Swalwell said. “We’re just heading into a very combustible angular moment that could be worse than January 6th. “

Screenshots of Swalwell’s conservation with Marshall, who goes by the username ‘out4bling’, suggest he threatened the congressman after learning reports he was targeted by a spy alleged Chinese.

Swalwell and other California politicians have been targeted by the suspected Chinese spy, who organized fundraisers and attended other events six or more years ago, according to a investigation by Axios. An FBI official, who spoke anonymously because he was not authorized to speak about the case, told The Chronicle last year that Swalwell was “completely cooperative and was not suspected of any wrongdoing “.

The episode sparked a wave of unfounded conspiracy theories in far-right media circles. Marshall later told Swalwell that he had followed conservative commentators such as Carlson and Joe Rogan.

Despite the initial death threats, Swalwell’s conversation with Marshall quickly took a friendly turn. Swalwell casually asked the man personal questions, including about the type of work he does and where he lives in Canada.

“I’m actually sorry for what I said, it’s nicer than I could have imagined,” Marshall wrote, according to a screenshot.

Swalwell even suggested they grab a coffee the next time he’s in Vancouver or that his Canadian parents could pick up Marshall when they need to hire a contractor for some remodeling. (Swalwell has no Canadian parents.)

The congressman said he is committed to obtaining as much identifying information as possible from the man. Swalwell said he passed screenshots of their conversation to the United States Capitol Police, who regularly investigate the threats.

As the conversation progressed, Swalwell focused on a pressing question: “What made you think I should be shot?” “

Marshall replied, “I’m an idiot and got carried away on social media because of the articles I read about you… Totally inappropriate and inappropriate. And you saw like a really nice guy so far from talking to you so I owe you an apology.

After Swalwell posted details of their conversation online, Marshall responded that he was receiving a wave of negative messages. Swalwell posted again, asking his supporters to do not harass him, writing “Let the law / Instagram hold him accountable.”

Swalwell told The Chronicle that the incident tragically shows how the people most susceptible to misinformation that could incite violence are often those who genuinely yearn for any human connection.

“They are often very lonely individuals,” he said. “It shows how fragile so many people are and how vulnerable they are to radicalization.”

Dustin Gardiner is a writer for the San Francisco Chronicle. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @dustingardiner