The attacker wanted to hold Nancy Pelosi hostage, he planned to break her kneecaps
The man who broke into House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s home and attacked her husband with a hammer, told authorities he planned to break her kneecaps and considered her the “leader of the pack” of lies told by the Democratic Party, according to court documents.
The Justice Department charged David DePape with attempted kidnapping of a federal employee and assault on a federal employee’s immediate family member Monday afternoon. San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins also announced Monday that her office will file charges against DePape that include attempted murder, residential burglary, assault with a deadly weapon, elder abuse, threatening a public servant and false imprisonment of an elder. DePape is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday.
In a statement released Monday night, Pelosi said her husband was making “steady progress” in his recovery from the attack.
“Since Paul’s horrific attack early Friday, we have been inundated with thousands of messages of concern, prayers and well wishes. We are very grateful,” she said in her statement. “Thanks to the excellent trauma medical team at Zuckerberg General Hospital in San Francisco, Paul is making steady progress in what will be a long recovery process.”
Authorities say DePape broke into Pelosi’s San Francisco residence early Friday morning and attacked her husband, Paul, with a hammer. The congresswoman was in Washington, DC, at the time of the attack, and Paul Pelosi continues to recover from surgery at a local hospital.
In a criminal complaint released Monday, an FBI special agent said that during DePape’s interview with police, he claimed his plan was to hold Nancy Pelosi hostage and talk to her. If she told the truth, he would let her go, but if she lied, he would break her knees. DePape said his assumption was that Pelosi would lie to him, and he viewed her as “the ‘leader of the pack’ of lies told by the Democratic Party,” according to the lawsuit.
“DePape also later explained that by breaking Nancy’s knees, she would have to drive herself to Congress, which would show other members of Congress that there were consequences for actions,” the filing said.
After Paul Pelosi called 911, DePape reportedly said he didn’t leave “because, like America’s founding fathers with the British, he was fighting a tyranny without surrender.” Police say he repeated this sentiment elsewhere in the interview.
According to the complaint, DePape said he planned to restrain Paul Pelosi with a zip tie. When the police arrived, Pelosi ran to the door and opened it. The two wrestled over a hammer that DePape had brought into the residence, and DePape allegedly hit Pelosi with it.
According to the records of his internet activityDePape has been a supporter of numerous conspiracy theories promoted in the right-wing media, including QAnon and the belief that the 2020 election is rigged. He also cast doubt about preventive actions against COVID-19 such as vaccinations and wearing masks, promoted anti-Semitic beliefs and defended former President Donald Trump.
Nancy Pelosi was highlighted in Republican ads and right-wing media attacks for years, with a surge recently leading up to November’s midterm elections. Last year, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said that “it will be hard not to guess” Pelosi with the gavel if she takes office in 2023. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., previously liked it posts on social networks supporting Pelosi’s execution.
“The Pelosi family is extremely grateful to Mr. Pelosi’s entire medical team and the police officers who responded to the attack,” Drew Hammill, a spokesman for the speaker, said Friday. “The family appreciates respect for their privacy during this time.”
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