SAN FRANCISCO — A federal jury convicted a man on Tuesday for the assault of Paul Pelosi, the husband of former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in their San Francisco home last year. The attacker, identified as Mr. DePape, could face a lengthy prison sentence.
During the trial, Mr. DePape admitted to the assault, expressing remorse for injuring the 83-year-old Mr. Pelosi. He stated that he acted out of frustration because his initial plan had been foiled.
On October 28, 2022, Mr. Pelosi suffered a skull fracture when he was struck on the head with a hammer by Mr. DePape. This incident occurred just days before the 2022 midterm elections, while Ms. Pelosi was in Washington serving as Speaker of the House.
Police body camera footage revealed that both Mr. DePape and Mr. Pelosi were holding what appeared to be a hammer when officers arrived at the scene. Despite police commands to drop the weapon, Mr. DePape refused and allegedly struck Mr. Pelosi off-camera.
Additional footage released by the police showed Mr. DePape breaking into the Pelosi residence. He was subsequently charged with attempted kidnapping and assault on a federal official. In court, he pleaded not guilty, but the jury found him guilty on both counts.
During his testimony, Mr. Pelosi recounted being awakened by Mr. DePape’s presence in his bedroom, where the assailant held zip ties and a hammer. Mr. DePape repeatedly demanded to know the whereabouts of Nancy Pelosi, his wife. Mr. Pelosi testified that he remained calm, fully aware of the danger he was in.
The defense argued that Mr. DePape’s actions did not constitute a federal crime, as they were not motivated by Mrs. Pelosi’s official duties. Instead, his defense attorney attributed the attack to his client’s beliefs in certain conspiracy theories and his desire to disrupt the ruling class in the United States.
Following the announcement of the verdict, the Pelosi family issued a heartfelt statement expressing their gratitude for the overwhelming support and well wishes that they have received throughout this difficult period. The statement conveyed the family’s deep appreciation for the countless messages of encouragement and solidarity from friends, colleagues, and well-wishers across the country. The Pelosi family also expressed their hope that this verdict would bring about a measure of closure and healing for everyone who has been affected by this traumatic event. They commended Mr. Pelosi for his composure and bravery, both during the attack and in court. His recovery continues to progress.
Prosecutors confirmed that Mr. DePape, a Canadian national, was in the United States illegally. In addition to the federal charges, he still faces state charges, including attempted murder, related to the attack.