David DePape: Paul Pelosi suspect charged with attempting to kidnap House speaker



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Paul Pelosi is “making steady progress in a long recovery process,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement Monday, after announcing state and federal charges against him accused of assault.

“Following the horrific attack on Paul early Friday, we have been inundated with thousands of messages of concern, prayers and well wishes,” the statement said. “Our family thanks everyone for their kindness.”

David DePape, 42, has been charged with felonies including assault, attempted murder and attempted kidnapping after a break-in at the couple’s San Francisco home last week, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the San Francisco District Attorney announced Monday.

He is charged with one count of “attempted kidnapping of a US official,” according to the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California. That charge related to Nancy Pelosi, who DePape told police she planned to “hold hostage,” according to an FBI affidavit unsealed Monday.

A charge of attempted kidnapping carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

DePape was charged with one count of assault on an immediate family member of a US official with intent to retaliate against the official. That charge is related to a felony conviction against Paul Pelosi and carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.

The federal charges against Depape are in addition to the state charges, which the San Francisco district attorney said later Monday include “attempted murder, residential robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, elder abuse, false imprisonment of an elderly person and threats against a public official and his family.”

Based on the current state charges, DePape faces up to 13 years in prison, San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins said. DePape is expected to be arraigned in court on Tuesday, he said.

Jenkins said at her news conference that the Pelosi attack was “politically motivated.”

“Yes, based on his statements and the comments he made in that house during his encounter with Mr. Pelosi, it appears to be politically motivated,” Jenkins said.

Paul Pelosi was interviewed at the hospital by investigators this weekend and was able to provide details of the attack, CNN reported Monday, according to two law enforcement sources and a source familiar with the matter.

Those conducting the interviews include the FBI and local law enforcement investigators.

A court filing related to the federal charges against DePape reveals the most detailed account of Paul Pelosi’s 911 call as the incident unfolded.

“Pelosi said that there was a man in the house and that the man was waiting for Pelosi’s wife. Pelosi further stated that she did not know who the man was. The male said his name was David,” the FBI agent said in an unsealed affidavit Monday.

Paul Pelosi called 911 at 2:23 a.m. Pacific time on Friday and police arrived at his home eight minutes later, according to Monday’s affidavit.

A heart-shaped sculpture and a light on are found inside the window of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband Paul Pelosi's home in San Francisco, Friday, Oct. 28, 2022.  Paul Pelosi was attacked and severely beaten.  A hammer-wielding attacker broke into a San Francisco home early Friday, according to people familiar with the investigation.  (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

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“When the door was opened, both Pelosi and DePape were holding the hammer with one hand and DePape had her other hand on Pelosi’s forearm,” the affidavit said. “Pelosi greeted the officers. The officers asked them what was going on. DePape responded that everything was fine. The officers then asked Pelosi and DePape to drop the hammer.

At that moment, Depop pulled out a hammer and swung it, hitting Paul Pelosi in the head. Pelosi was “found unconscious on the floor” after the beating, the affidavit said.

Paul Pelosi was later taken to a hospital and “underwent successful surgery to repair a fractured skull and serious injuries to his right arm and hand,” according to a previous press release from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office. He said he expects Paul Pelosi to make a full recovery.

A source familiar with the matter provided CNN with more information about the attack on Paul Pelosi and the extent of his injuries in the wake of a federal criminal complaint.

DePape hit Pelosi twice in the head, sources said. Pelosi required surgery for a fractured skull and serious injuries to her hands and right arm, which led to her shirt being cut off at the hospital to treat her arm, sources said.

Authorities allege that DePape entered when Paul Pelosi was sleeping in boxer shorts and a pajama top in a third-floor bedroom of his San Francisco home.

CNN previously reported that Pelosi managed to keep the line open with 911, with dispatchers able to hear the conversation in the background and Pelosi speaking in code to help officers understand what was going on.

“DePape was prepared to arrest and injure Speaker Pelosi when he entered the Pelosi residence in the early morning hours of October 28, 2022,” the FBI agent said in the affidavit. “DePape had zip ties, tape, rope and at least one hammer with him that morning.”

DePape has yet to make any court appearances in connection with the attack.

According to a criminal complaint filed in court, Depop admitted in an interview with local police that he intended to find the House Speaker and hold her hostage.

An FBI affidavit filed with the complaint states: “DePape stated that he was going to hold Nancy hostage and talk to her. If Nancy told DePape ‘the truth’, he would let her go, and if she told ‘a lie’, he was going to ‘break her knees’.

“DePape was certain that Nancy was not telling the ‘truth,'” the FBI affidavit said.

Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi (R), along with her husband Paul Pelosi (C), attended the Holy Mass of Saints Peter and Paul led by Pope Francis at St. Peter's Basilica.

‘Where’s Nancy?’: Assailant shouted before attacking Pelosi’s husband, sources say

The affidavit said DePape told police that Nancy Pelosi was the “leader of the pack” of lies promoted by the Democratic Party. According to the affidavit, DePape told police that when Pelosi “wheeled” into the House chamber with a broken knee, other members of Congress would see that her actions had consequences.

The interview was conducted by the San Francisco Police Department on Friday, the day of the attack, according to court documents. DePop was read his Miranda rights before he spoke to police and admitted to intending to kidnap the top-ranking House Democrat, according to the filings.

The federal charges were unsealed Monday after a conspiracy theory about the Pelosi attack was previously shared on Twitter by its billionaire owner, Elon Musk.

The conspiracy theory claims, among other things, that Paul Pelosi knew her attacker. Musk tweeted a link to an article promoting the theory on Sunday, though he has since deleted it.

According to an FBI affidavit unsealed Monday along with the federal charges, Pelosi told a 911 dispatcher in her call that she “didn’t know who the man was” who had invaded her home.

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Furthermore, officers from the San Francisco Police Department interviewed Pelosi in the ambulance on the way to the hospital and said, “She had never seen (David) DePape before.”

Earlier Monday, San Francisco Police Department Chief William Scott told CNN’s Ana Cabrera that Paul Pelosi did not know the suspect. The police chief said the wave of conspiracies about the case was “baseless” and “harmful” to the ongoing investigation.

This story has been updated with additional developments.

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