In the predawn hours of October 28, 2022, a police officer arrives at the front door of Nancy Pelosi's home in San Francisco. They find Paul Pelosi, 82, standing with an intruder— both awkwardly holding hammers.
The invader lunges at Mr. Pelosi with the hammer raised above his head seconds after the quiet is shattered. He briefly rumbles with Mr. Pelosi before Mr. Pelosi's fist connects with his face. While Mr. Pelosi lies motionless on his side, grunting in a distressed fashion, officers enter the scene panicking.
A 90-second video clip from a police body camera was released on Friday by a San Francisco court. The scene is graphic and harrowing; it shows David DePape violently attacking Congressman Nancy Pelosi during his trial. During a failed attempt to abduct House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a speaker’s husband suffered brain damage and was hospitalized for six days in San Francisco. Pelosi was second in line to the presidency at the time of the attempted kidnapping.
The release of this information on Friday made it clear that public officials and their families are in danger from increasing threats. Many questions remain about the safety measures put in place to protect these families. This is due to new evidence released by the Capitol Police, including surveillance video and other data. Some conspiracy theories about Nancy Pelosi have been spread by some right-wing influencers.
New audio evidence shows how an intruder broke into Paul Pelosi's home and attacked him. At the same time, a 911 call and several videos from the incident are released to the public.
Before DePape entered the Pelosi home, footage from a camera mounted outside the home showed him approaching. This proved that rumors claiming the attack was an elaborate lie to hide a sordid affair were baseless. Additionally, body camera video inside the house disproved these claims.
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Immediately after the attack, former President Donald J. Trump and Republican lawmakers started questioning the official story. This led to increased speculation about a larger conspiracy.
Nina Jankowicz, a disinformation expert, believes people spin narratives in support of their own cause. No matter what evidence or documents are presented, people tend to ignore them and instead believe the stories they want to believe.
DePape believed online conspiracy theories about the 2020 election when he decided to attack the library. He admitted this to a San Francisco detective hours after the attack. In his words, Pelosi led a pack of lying Democrats who undermined Trump for four years. They successfully stole his election when they became the leader of the pack.
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DePape interviewed by the police stated that he intended to kidnap a political figure who Republicans have treated as a scapegoat for decades. He planned to break her knees and take her away to be brought to Congress. DePape said he was looking for Pelosi at the time of the attack; she was home that night but wasn’t harmed. As it turns out, DePape’s spontaneous actions underscored the truth of his statement.
On a Friday morning in the Capitol, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi informed the press of her plans not to watch or listen to any released footage of the incident. She also stated that she wouldn't comment on the case or the footage again.
As she did in her previous statements, Nancy Pelosi thanked people and advised them of Paul’s condition without addressing her husband’s attack. She has no intention of seeing the event either.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reported that she was pleased with the progress her patient was making when asked.
During Mr. Pelosi's intruder attack, a 911 call he placed was released as well as a public interview with the suspect looking for Ms. Pelosi. This information has provided an almost complete picture of the event and the attacker's political motivations.
As a dispatcher on the line, Mr. Pelosi exhibits patience and restraint when speaking to her. He carefully chooses his words to convey to her that he's in danger without antagonizing his assailant. Apparently, the listener is still listening in as Mr. Pelosi speaks.
This gentleman is waiting for my wife to come back, Nancy Pelosi," Mr Pelosi said. She won't be here for a day, so I guess I'll have to wait.
Eventually, Mr. DePape appeared to lose patience with Mr. Pelosi, who told the dispatcher, "He wants me to hang up, okay?"
The attack and the subsequent release of the video come at a time of rising politically motivated violence and lawmakers concerned with protecting themselves and their families from serious threats.
We live in unprecedented and dangerous times of extremism and political violence that have no place in our democracy or in the daily lives of our elected officials and their families," Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., said Friday.
- Also on Friday, Capitol Police released surveillance video of Pelosi's residence showing the suspect breaking into the residence through a back door. The material was released after a legal effort by a media consortium including The New York Times. Surveillance footage shows Mr. DePape wrapping the house for several minutes before entering, at one point carrying two backpacks — something Capitol Police would have seen had they watched video from the home the night of the attack, which they would have monitored Pelosi's house. But Ms. Pelosi was not there, and crucial minutes passed before an official reviewed the footage.
Since the attack, many elected officials have pushed for more protections for lawmakers and their families, and the surveillance footage has certainly raised questions about Capitol Police's response.
Unlike the president, who receives 24-hour security from the Secret Service and paid for by taxpayers, including separate protection for members of his family, most members of Congress receive little government security and very little of their families.
As Speaker of the House, Ms Pelosi always has a key security officer with her. However, this protection does not apply to family members. Ms Pelosi, whose term ends this month, has been one of the most threatened members of Congress in years, partly because of a concerted Republican effort to target the most powerful woman in American politics. For years, they have painted Pelosi, a wealthy woman from the progressive bastion of San Francisco, as the darkest Democratic villain of them all in ads and fundraising campaigns designed to irritate, intimidate and energize hardcore supporters. The suspect, Mr. DePape, 43, faces multiple felony charges in state court, including attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon. He also faces federal charges for attempting to kidnap a federal official and assaulting a federal official's family. If convicted, he faces life in prison. He pleaded not guilty and the next hearing in the case is scheduled for February 23, when a trial date will be set. Mr Pelosi has been slowly recovering since the attack. He and his wife have attended some high-profile events in recent weeks, including the unveiling of Ms. Pelosi's portrait and the Kennedy Center Honors. In both bouts, he wore a hat to cover a visible head injury and dark gloves to cover his injured hand. Mr Pelosi sat in the gallery of the House of Representatives earlier this month, overlooking the first of 15 votes in which House lawmakers voted for a new speaker. Still, Ms. Pelosi and her family have been candid about telling him that he still has a long way to go before he fully recovers. "He's sort of out of the hospital because the doctor said he's got some expectations, wait, day in and day out," Ms Pelosi said in a recent interview with CNN's Chris Wallace. Everything else. It takes time, but they heal. Longing, you know all these things. But the head is another story." Ms. Pelosi said that if the head is seriously injured, "you have to move carefully. You have to Be careful with the light. You have to be careful with the sound. It just takes time. You're going to be very tired, but, you know, without elaborating, but according to the doctors, it's probably three or four months before he's really back to normal." Despite being married to the most powerful Democratic carrier in the country, Pelosi was never deep in politics, his daughter Alexandra Pelosi said. There are many Republicans in his circle of friends, and he forbids his family from discussing politics at the dinner table.
But Mr. Pelosi played an invaluable behind-the-scenes role for his wife during her tenure as House Democratic leader, a rather uninspiring role in the recent Alexandra Pelosi-directed HBO reflected in the documentary.
The multimillionaire venture capitalist, Mr Pelosi runs what his family calls a "living business," buying dish towels, washing dishes, negotiating with contractors and even buying clothes for his wife so she can Concentrate all energies on the job.
He stayed out of the spotlight as much as possible," Alexandra Pelosi said in a recent interview. "He pretty much came to the end, but no one knew who he was." Annie Karni is a congressional reporter. She was previously a White House correspondent. Before joining The Times, she covered the White House and Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign for Politico and spent a decade covering local politics for the New York Post and New York Daily News. @AnnieKarni Tim Arango is a reporter based in Los Angeles. He spent seven years as an office manager in Baghdad and also reported on Turkey before moving to California. He joined The Times in 2007 as a media reporter. @tarangoNYT