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HomePoliticsHouse Speaker Nancy Pelosi was kidnap target by David DePape

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was kidnap target by David DePape

Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi and her husband Paul Pelosi arrive on the red carpet for the Time 100 Gala at the Lincoln Center in New York on April 23, 2019.

Angela Weiss | AFP | Getty Images

The California man accused of viciously attacking Paul Pelosi with a hammer was prepared to kidnap and assault House Speaker Nancy Pelosi during a break-in of the couple’s San Francisco home, federal prosecutors said in a new criminal complaint on Monday.

David DePape, 42, was charged with the federal crimes of attempted kidnapping of a federal official, and assaulting an immediate family member of a United States official with the intent to retaliate against the official. DePape already was facing state charges of attempted murder and other felonies in the attack on the 82-year-old Paul Pelosi.

The new federal complaint says evidence shows DePape “was prepared to detain and injure Speaker Pelosi when he entered the Pelosi residence in the early morning” Friday.

DePape was toting zip ties, tape, rope, and at least one hammer, authorities said.

When Paul Pelosi told DePape that Nancy Pelosi, who was in Washington, D.C., at the time, “would not be home for several days,” DePape “reiterated that he would wait,” the complaint alleges.

“DePape also later explained that by breaking Nancy’s kneecaps, she would then have to be wheeled into Congress, which would show other Members of Congress there were consequences to actions,” according to the complaint.

Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, as House speaker is second in the line of presidential succession.

DePape was arrested Friday morning by San Francisco Police after officers found at the home struggling with Paul Pelosi over a hammer.

David Depape is shown in Berkeley, Calif.,on Friday, Dec. 13, 2013. An intruder attacked and severely beat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband with a hammer in the couple’s San Francisco home early Friday, Oct. 28, 2022, while searching for the Democratic leader. Police were called to the home to check on Paul Pelosi when they discovered the 82-year-old and the suspect, Depape, both grabbing onto the hammer, said Police Chief William Scott.

Michael Short | San Francisco Chronicle | AP

When officers ordered the men to drop the hammer, DePape gained control of it, and hit Pelosi in the head, knocking him out, authorities said.

Police found a roll of tape, white rope, a second hammer, a pair of rubber and cloth gloves, and zip ties from the crime scene, the Justice Department noted in a press release Monday.

DePape faces a maximum possible prison term of 30 years if convicted of the federal assault charge, and a maximum of 20 years in prison if convicted of attempted kidnapping.

Pelosi remained in the intensive care unit at a San Francisco hospital, surrounded by family members, on Monday morning, sources told NBC.

Law enforcement officials including FBI agents on Sunday obtained Pelosi’s account of the home invasion, a source with knowledge of the investigation told NBC.

Pelosi told police he had been asleep when DePape, whom he did not know, entered his bedroom looking for Nancy Pelosi, authorities said.

Pelosi had all of his cognitive functions and seemed to recall everything about the incident, the source said. 

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

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