SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA — A federal jury has found David DePape guilty of assaulting Paul Pelosi, the husband of former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in their San Francisco home. DePape was convicted of assault on the immediate family member of a federal official and attempted kidnapping of a federal official. He could face a maximum sentence of 30 years and 20 years on the charges, respectively.
The verdict comes after high-profile testimony from both DePape and Pelosi, who described the night he was attacked with a hammer. This violent incident sent shockwaves through Washington, raising concerns about rising threats against public officials and increasing political violence. These fears were further heightened following the US Capitol attack in January 2021 and other incidents targeting members of Congress in recent years.
Nancy Pelosi has announced that the attack on her husband factored into her decision to step down from her leadership post. Following the verdict, a spokesman for the Pelosi family expressed gratitude for the support and prayers they have received, highlighting Paul Pelosi’s extraordinary composure and courage during the court proceedings.
The prosecutors claimed that DePape had broken into the Pelosis’ home with a violent plan to kidnap Nancy Pelosi and hold her hostage. DePape’s attorney acknowledged his responsibility for the attack but argued that his motives did not align with the charges against him.
Testifying in his own defense, DePape gave jurors insight into his motives before the attack, becoming emotional as he shared examples of conspiracy theories he believed. He claimed that his focus had been on Nancy Pelosi and that her husband was not on his list of targets. He expressed surprise and confusion upon learning that the congresswoman was not home.
Pelosi recounted waking up to find a man with a hammer in his home, leading to a struggle that left him with serious injuries. His recovery has been difficult, with spells of lightheadedness and headaches. The trial also featured testimony from responding San Francisco police officers, FBI agents, and United States Capitol Police.
DePape has pleaded not guilty to state charges including attempted murder, burglary, assault, elder abuse, and false imprisonment. The San Francisco District Attorney has expressed confidence in their case and readiness to move forward to trial.