Paul Pelosi: What we know and don’t know about the attack on Nancy Pelosi’s husband
The man who is claimed to have attacked Paul Pelosi, the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, at the couple’s San Francisco home on Friday will be charged with more crimes on Monday, according to San Francisco law enforcement officials. He is expected to be arraigned on Tuesday.
“We are coordinating closely with federal and local law enforcement partners in this investigation. We will be filing more felony charges on Monday and we expect to [suspect David DePape] to be heard on Tuesday. DePape will be held accountable for his heinous crimes,” San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins tweeted Friday night.
Here’s what we know — and still don’t know — about the attack:
The intruder, identified by police as David DePape, 42, confronted 82-year-old Paul Pelosi with a gavel early Friday morning, yelling, “Where’s Nancy? Where’s Nancy?” according to a police source. The attacker tried to tie Pelosi up “until Nancy got home,” two sources familiar with the situation told CNN.
Pelosi called 911 when he encountered the threatening man and left the line open so the dispatcher could hear his conversation with DePape, speaking quietly but making it clear he needed help, according to a law enforcement source.
San Francisco police entered the home around 2:27 a.m. local time (5:27 a.m. ET) on Friday to find Pelosi struggling over a hammer with a man, who has since been identified as DePape, according to the city’s police chief. Officers saw DePape “violently assault” Pelosi with a hammer before tackling him to the ground and arresting him.
“It’s really thanks to Mr. Pelosi having the ability to make that call, and really the attention and instincts of that dispatcher to realize that something was wrong in that situation and to make the call to the police a priority, so they arrived within two minutes. to respond to this situation,” Jenkins told CNN’s Erin Burnett on Friday.
Police said DePape entered through a back door and it was unclear if he bypassed any security measures.
Pelosi was taken to the hospital after the attack and underwent “successful surgery to repair a fractured skull and serious injuries to her right arm and hands,” Drew Hammill, a spokesman for Nancy Pelosi, said in a statement early Friday. He is expected to make a full recovery.
Authorities said Friday that the suspect was in the hospital with minor injuries. DePape was not famous US Capitol Police and was not in any federal database that tracks threats, according to three sources familiar with the investigation. But he has posted memes and conspiracy theories on Facebook about Covid-19 vaccines, the 2020 election and the January 6 attack on the US Capitol.
The US Capitol Police announced Friday that they are assisting the FBI and San Francisco police “in a joint investigation” into the burglary.
Law enforcement officials did not specify a motive for the attack, but San Francisco Police Chief William Scott said at a news conference Friday that the attack was “deliberate” and “not a random act.”
“It’s wrong. Our elected officials are here to do the work of their cities, their counties, their states and this nation. Their families are not signing on for this to be damaged and it’s wrong,” Scott said.
Nancy Pelosi was not home at the time of the attack, but traveled to California on Friday to be with her husband. Security details for lawmakers, including the speaker, do not protect their spouses when members of Congress are not with them. Pelosi was able to speak with her husband after the attack and before he was taken into surgery, according to a source familiar with the matter.
The attack sent shockwaves through Washington and prompted an outpouring of condolences and condemnation from congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle. He also emphasized the fear of political violence directed at lawmakers after this event Sixth January Rebellionas well as other high-profile violent incidents that have targeted lawmakers in recent years.
President Joe Biden described the attack on Paul Pelosi as “disgusting” and directly linked the attack to growing strains of right-wing extremism.
“This is disgusting. There is no place in America – there is too much violence, political violence. Too much hate. Too much vitriol,” Biden said at a fundraising dinner in Philadelphia on Friday.
Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell said in a tweet Friday that he was “appalled and appalled” by the reports, while House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy’s office said it had contacted the speaker, a fellow Californian.
Vice President Kamala Harris said the attack was more evidence of the “terrible things” happening in politics across the country.
At a campaign rally Saturday in Baltimore, Harris recalled a time in the US when “it was valued that diversity of opinion would lead us to progress, to smart decisions.”
But now, she said, certain “so-called leaders” are using their positions to advance “the preservation of their personal power” and to divide the country. They are “using the bully pulpit in a way that propagates hate,” the vice president said.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, speaking at the same rally, asked people to pray for Paul Pelosi and think about what led to the brutal attack.
“I want you to think about the environment that has been created in America by some who would tear us down, who would pit us against each other, who would degrade our Constitution and our declaration and our claim that ‘all men and women are created equal,'” said the Democrat from Maryland. “We say, ‘These truths are self-evident,’ but they are not self-evident. It is up to us to make sure America survives the hate and division that too many people are letting into our country.”
Republican Rep. James Comer of Kentucky, who is slated to become House Speaker if the GOP takes control of the House next year, said both Republicans and Democrats need to tone down political rhetoric and acknowledged that he could work on that as well.
“I condemn every attack of political violence by any party. That’s wrong,” Comer told CNN’s Pamela Brown on CNN Newsroom on Saturday. “I have said for several years that the rhetoric is getting worse and worse. It’s a very difficult environment there. You have a lot of people who get so fired up, for various political reasons. That puts many politicians in a dangerous spot.”
Comer referenced the 2017 shooting at a baseball practice in which then-House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and several others were hit.
“The environment is terrible, and I believe that people in both parties are to blame for the intense rhetoric that really leads to – feed these people who are disturbed and create violence. The same thing happened with the shooter who shot Steve Scalise and several other Republican colleagues. Violence is wrong, these people should be put in prison for the rest of their lives, and we should try to be better on both sides. Including me,” Comer said.
Authorities in San Francisco are appealing to the public for tips about the attack.
“While an arrest has been made, this remains an open investigation,” San Francisco police said in a statement.
Anyone with information is asked to call the SFPD tip line at 1-415-575-4444.
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