U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell is taking seriously an online death threat that came from the Twitter account of former San Francisco 49ers fullback Bruce Miller.
Swalwell, D-Calif., shared a screenshot of a direct message Wednesday that came from @BruceMillerIII that warned Swalwell it was “almost time” to either go to Guantanamo (a U.S. military detention center in Cuba) or “just execution.” The message was followed by three laughing emojis and an expletive ahead of the word “traitor.”
“My family and staff are deeply disturbed by the threat of execution made to me, apparently by former San Francisco 49er Bruce Miller,” Swalwell said in a statement. “Threats of political violence are unacceptable. They also will not silence me from defending democracy.”
Miller, in a message to the Bay Area News Group, stated, “I speak for myself,” and deferred further comment to a reply he sent Swalwell on Twitter, in which Miller wrote: “That was in no way a threat to you or you family,” calling it a “harmless game of ‘would you rather’ Guantanamo or execution.”
Miller again called Swalwell a traitor, alleging he committed treason by “trying to frame” former President Donald Trump. Miller reiterated he is “not a threat to you or anyone else,” adding: “I’m not maga, republican or democrat. I’m an American who is sick of watching the corrupt establishment destroy our country.”
Such online attacks are not new to Swalwell, though MIller’s sizeable following of 54,300-plus on Twitter elevated the Bay Area congressman’s concerns.
“I invite my Republican colleagues, who have remained silent about the violent environment in which we govern, to join me in condemning political threats,” Swalwell’s statement concluded. “Law enforcement must investigate this threat and hold this individual accountable.”
Messages from the Bay Area News Group to the United States Capitol Police were not immediately returned.
Miller, 35, played for the 49ers from 2011-15. He was released prior to the 2016 season when arrested on assault and battery charges at a San Francisco hotel, 18 months after an arrest in San Jose for suspicion of spousal abuse.
Miller briefly revived his NFL career in 2020 with the Jacksonville Jaguars, whose general manager, Trent Baalke, held the same role with the 49ers during Miller’s tenure there. Miller played eight games in that 2020 season, including just one game after serving a six-game suspension for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy.
In June 2015, Miller pleaded no contest to misdemeanor disturbing of the peace after a March 5 argument with his then-fiancee. “I learned a lot about myself and ways to deal with situations,” Miller said then. “People are going to think what they want to believe. People that know me, I didn’t have to explain myself one time.”
Swalwell, 42, is in his sixth term as the U.S. representative for California’s 14th District. He serves on the House’s homeland security and judiciary committees. Swalwell made a presidential bid briefly in 2019.
Three months ago, Swalwell was designated to serve as the top Democrat on the subcommittee for cybersecurity and infrastructure protection.
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