Fact Check: Ex-Capitol Police Officer Michael Fanone Is NOT An Iranian National -- He Was Born And Raised In DC Area

Fact Check

  • by: Sarah Thompson
Fact Check: Ex-Capitol Police Officer Michael Fanone Is NOT An Iranian National -- He Was Born And Raised In DC Area American-Born

Was former D.C. police officer Michael Fanone, who responded to the January 6, 2021, insurrection, a young Iranian hired during the Clinton era? No, that's not true: Fanone is not an Iranian national, He was born in Washington, D.C., and raised in Alexandria, Virginia. He graduated from Ballou High School in Washington. Fanone initially began working for the U.S. Capitol Police after the attacks of September 11, 2001 -- so it was George W. Bush, not Bill Clinton, who was president when Fanone joined the Capitol Police. He subsequently went to work for the Metropolitan Police Department.

The baseless claim that Fanone is Iranian appeared in a post on X (archived here) by @Jwhitty16 on May 29, 2024. The post was captioned:

Michael Fanone the cop making speeches against J6ers and Trump was a young Iranian hired during the Clinton era.

This is all starting to make freaking sense.


(Source: X screenshot taken on Thu May 30 20:23:34 2024 UTC)

The claim that Fanone is Iranian is made without any background information to support it. The claim was originally made on May 28, 2024, by X account @0HOUR and went viral before the account was suspended. Other accounts, including @PepeDeluxed on Telegram (pictured below) amplified the original claim with the same photo and the post's original wording.


(Source: Telegram screenshot taken on Thu May 30 22:06:44 2024 UTC)

The photo of Fanone, which appears cropped in the post on X and Telegram, appeared uncropped in an October 7, 2022, article on Politico.com titled, "The Secret Tapes of Michael Fanone." The caption with the photo reads:

Fanone receives a commendation earlier in his career. Last year, just five years shy of retirement and after 20 years on the force, he resigned. "Whenever I left my cubicle, I was ostracized, treated like a leper," he writes in his new memoir. | MPD

Evidence of Fanone's Birth, Upbringing, Career in DC Area

On January 15, 2021, the Ballou Senior High School Alumni Association, Inc. shared a news article (archived here) on their Facebook page. The January 15, 2021, article in dcist.com from American University Radio, WAMU, profiles three D.C. police officers, including Fanone, who responded when the U.S. Capitol was stormed by Trump supporters on January 6, 2021. His Washington high school is mentioned following a quote from Fanone:

'The assumption probably would have been that I sat at my desk that day, but, the hell if that was going to fucking happen,' says Fanone, who was raised in Northern Virginia but graduated from Ballou High School in D.C.

Fanone would receive another commendation later in his career, in the August 5, 2021, Virginia Senate Resolution No. 714. The one-page document (.PDF here) begins with a short biographical summary that emphasizes his childhood in Northern Virginia. It reads:

WHEREAS, Michael Fanone, a courageous and dedicated law-enforcement officer and a resident of Mount Vernon, sustained serious injuries in the line of duty while defending the United States Capitol Building from thousands of insurrectionists on January 6, 2021; and
WHEREAS, Michael Fanone grew up in Northern Virginia and graduated from Ballou High School in Washington, D.C.; he was inspired to become a police officer after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, and subsequently joined the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia ...

An August 5, 2021, article in Time.com titled, "What Mike Fanone Can't Forget" contains additional biographical details. Without naming the hospital, it says that Fanone was born in Washington DC:

Fanone was born in the District and raised in Alexandria, Va., his father a lawyer, his mother a social worker. They divorced when he was 8. His dad was a partner at a big firm, but Fanone hated the stuffy status-grubbing of fancy-pants D.C. He spent his free time with his mother's working-class family in rural Maryland, boating, fishing, crabbing, hunting and watching John Wayne movies.

On March 7, 2024, Fanone gave testimony at the Judiciary Committee's Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government. The biography included with this appearance reads:

Michael Fanone served as a law enforcement officer for twenty years. His service began with the United States Capitol Police and he subsequently transferred to the Metropolitan Police Department and was assigned to the First District. During his career, Fanone participated in more than two thousand arrests for violent crimes and narcotics trafficking; served as a special task force officer for the FBI, ATF, and DEA; and earned more than three dozen commendations for his work. Following his resignation from MPD, Fanone served as an analyst for CNN, a security consultant, and a firearms instructor.

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  Sarah Thompson

Sarah Thompson lives with her family and pets on a small farm in Indiana. She founded a Facebook page and a blog called “Exploiting the Niche” in 2017 to help others learn about manipulative tactics and avoid scams on social media. Since then she has collaborated with journalists in the USA, Canada and Australia and since December 2019 she works as a Social Media Authenticity Analyst at Lead Stories.


Read more about or contact Sarah Thompson

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