In addition to being charged locally with the attempted murder of Paul Pelosi, alleged assailant David DePape was charged Monday by federal prosecutors with the attempted kidnapping of Nancy Pelosi, as well as the assault of an immediate relative of a U.S. official.
Federal prosecutors for the Northern District of California filed charges Monday against DePape, 42, which together carry maximum sentences totaling 50 years in prison. DePape, who allegedly broke into the Pelosis' home in Pacific Heights early Friday morning and awoke Paul Pelosi on the second floor of the home in search of Speaker Pelosi, was reportedly carrying duct tape and zip ties that suggested his intent to kidnap the Speaker. DePape was reportedly asking "Where's Nancy?" and saying he'd wait for her, but he ultimately ended up striking Mr. Pelosi with a hammer as SFPD officers arrived.
As CNN reports via the U.S. Attorney's Office, DePape has now been charged with one count of attempted kidnapping of a U.S. official, and "one count of assault of an immediate family member of a U.S. official with the intent to retaliate against the official."
Update: According to charging documents, DePape told police officers in an interview that he wanted to "break her kneecaps" and he referred to Pelosi as the "leader of the pack" of lies told by the Democratic Party. DePape allegedly said he would let Pelosi go if she told the "truth," but he expected her to lie, and with broken kneecaps she would "then have to be wheeled into Congress, which would show other members of Congress there were consequences to actions," as Bay Area News Group reports.
The attempted kidnapping charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years, and the assault charge carries a maximum sentence of 30 years. Such charges are typically only filed at the state level, but they can be charged as federal crimes under some circumstances — and this is being viewed as a politically motivated act of violence.
The state charges against DePape are still pending, but may be announced by District Attorney Brooke Jenkins as early as today.
The swiftness with which federal prosecutors brought these charges "reflects the Biden administration’s urgency in addressing what it sees as a politically motivated crime shortly before the 2022 midterm elections," as the New York Times suggests.
Mr. Pelosi, 82, remains in an intensive care unit at Zuckerberg SF General Hospital, but he is said to be recovering from surgery he underwent on Friday for an injury to his skull.
Speaker Pelosi has not yet commented on the federal charges.
As KRON4 reports, Speaker Pelosi was in San Francisco Monday and her motorcade was spotted at SF General Hospital, where she was visiting her husband.
The Pelosi home in Pacific Heights has been a target for protest before, but not by a terroristic or violent individual. It was the target of anarchist graffiti and a pig's head on New Year's Eve 2020 — six days before the January 6, 2021 insurrection. And their home address has been something of an open secret on the internet for years. As Politico notes, the house was also the site of anti-war protests in 2007. As we all know, Pelosi has been vilified by Republicans but especially by right-wing conspiracy-theory devotees who view her as a ringleader in an evil cabal.
DePape's former girlfriend, Gypsy Taub, spoke about his and her own views in a Chronicle interview over the weekend, suggesting that while she didn't believe DePape had become a Trump supporter, he was "against the shadow government." He had clearly fallen under the thrall of the QAnon conspiracy, according to his online postings, and a blog post attributed to him, per the Chronicle, "railed against censorship by an elite cabal of tech companies, government officials and media outlets."
Taub said that she believed DePape suffered from mental illness and had "completely lost his mind" in the last few years.
DePape has not, at least to anyone's knowledge so far, ever specifically mentioned a vendetta against Nancy Pelosi.
Top image: Left: Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Image; right: California DMV via CNN