Michael Fanone Says His Mom Was Swatted After He Spoke Out At Trump’s Trial

Former D.C. police officer Michael Fanone said someone sent a SWAT team to his mother’s home on Tuesday under false pretenses — a practice known as “swatting” — in response to his criticism of former president Donald Trump.

Fanone, one of dozens of police officers injured while defending the U.S. Capitol from a mob of Trump supporters on Jan. 6, 2021, slammed Trump on Tuesday during a Biden campaign press conference the former president’s criminal trial in Manhattan.

“While being restrained by a violent mob, I was beaten,” Fanone said at the press conference, at which actor Robert De Niro also spoke. “An individual tried to strip me of my gun, while chants of ‘kill him with his own gun’ were echoed by the crowd.”

On Tuesday evening, Fanone said his mom opened the front door of her Virginia home to find police in SWAT gear. The police said they were responding to a threatening “manifesto,” containing Fanone’s mother’s address, that had falsely been attributed to Fanone. NBC News first reported the incident.

Fairfax County police did not immediately respond to a request from HuffPost about what happened.

Fanone told HuffPost that he’s been swatted a few times before, but that the perpetrators have always had the wrong address. He said it was the first time police came to his mother’s house, but not the first time she’d been harassed in response to her son’s criticism of the former president.

“She’s been heckled in her driveway by people,” Fanone said. “Pretty much everybody in my family has experienced some form of that.”

Trump and Republicans in Congress have downplayed the attack on the Capitol and suggested, without evidence, that the mob of Trump supporters was manipulated by undercover FBI agents rather than egged on by Trump himself.

Since resigning from the D.C. police department, Fanone has devoted himself to retelling the story of what actually happened that day. He spoke out Tuesday alongside former Capitol Police officer Harry Dunn.

Swatting incidents drain law enforcement resources and can themselves be dangerous, since officers believe they’re responding to an emergency situation. At least 34 members of Congress have been swatted, including both Republicans and Democrats, the Capitol Police said in January. So was Jack Smith, the special counsel prosecutor pushing two criminal cases against Trump.

Fanone said such high-ranking government officials are better protected against swatting than his family.

“Me and my family are just regular people,” he told HuffPost. “We’re just average American citizens, you know, middle class who don’t have the means to escape these types of incidents.”


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