The man accused of violently attacking House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) husband with a hammer allegedly rejected police commands to drop the tool before using “full force” to strike him repeatedly on the head, according to a new federal filing.
In an indictment filed Wednesday, prosecutors reiterate much of what is already known about the case: that in the early morning hours of Oct. 28, David DePape, 42, was arrested at the Pelosi’s San Francisco home after allegedly breaking in to the residence and confronting Paul Pelosi, who was asleep at the time.
The indictment provides details about the 911 call Paul Pelosi made to police:
In the approximately two-and-a-half minute phone call, Mr. Pelosi conveyed to the dispatch officer that there was an unknown man in his residence. Mr. Pelosi also conveyed that the man was looking for Mr. Pelosi’s wife, that Mr. Pelosi’s wife was Speaker Pelosi who would not “be there for days,” and that the man said he would “wait” for Speaker Pelosi. Mr. Pelosi made clear in the 9-1-1 call that he did not know who the man was. On the call and from the background, DEPAPE can be heard giving his name as “David” and declaring himself a “friend.” Mr. Pelosi confirmed to the dispatcher that he did not know the man. Towards the end of the call, when the dispatcher offered to stay on the phone with him, Mr. Pelosi told the dispatcher that the man wanted Mr. Pelosi to “get the hell off the phone.”
These details echo what was said in the California state criminal complaint against DePape. They take at least some of the air out of conspiracy theories that have linked Paul Pelosi to DePape based on DePape’s declaration that he was a “friend” of the Pelosis.
The indictment also provides details about the moments after San Francisco police arrived at the Pelosis house to find Paul Pelosi and DePape in the foyer, “jointly gripping a hammer.”
Per the indictment:
An officer asked what was going on, and DEPAPE responded that “everything is good,” while using his other hand to encircle Mr. Pelosi’s right arm. Immediately, an officer said: “drop the hammer.” DEPAPE responded, “ummm nope.” DEPAPE then pulled the hammer over his head, thereby also pulling Mr. Pelosi closer to him and swung the hammer abruptly and forcefully at Mr. Pelosi. In total, these events lasted approximately fifteen seconds.
As the officers rushed through the door, they found Mr. Pelosi and DEPAPE on the floor, with DEPAPE’s legs on top of Mr. Pelosi. Officers restrained DEPAPE and called for medical assistance, as a pool of blood swelled around Mr. Pelosi’s head.
According to the indictment, DePape told police — after being advised of his rights — that he was at the house looking for the Speaker, and that her husband would “take the punishment” if he tried to stop the intruder.
“He explained that while he and Mr. Pelosi were at the door, he ‘yanked’ the hammer away from Mr. Pelosi and swung it towards Mr. Pelosi,” the indictment said, referring to DePape’s alleged confession. “He used ‘full force’ on Mr. Pelosi.”
DePape, who had posted several right-wing conspiracy theories online, allegedly said that he wanted to hear the “truth” from the House Speaker, who has long been the subject of increasingly heated rhetoric from conservatives.
“He planned to hold Speaker Pelosi hostage and talk with her,” the indictment says. “If ‘Nancy’ told DEPAPE the ‘truth,’ he would let her go, and if she ‘lied,’ he would break ‘her kneecaps.’ DEPAPE was certain ‘Nancy’ would not have told the ‘truth.'”
DePape “views Speaker Pelosi as the ‘leader of the pack’ of lies told by the Democratic Party,” the indictment says. “As a result of DEPAPE breaking Speaker Pelosi’s kneecaps, she would have to be wheeled into Congress, which would show other Members of Congress that there were consequences to their actions.”
The indictment also says that DePape had identified another person, referred to only as “Target 1” in the filing, as “way up” on his target list, and that he planned to use Nancy Pelosi to lure “Target 1” to him.
In a press release, the Justice Department said that the indictment supersedes the criminal complaint filed against DePape on Oct. 31.
The DOJ has charged DePape with one count of assault upon an immediate family member of a U.S. official with the intent to retaliate against the official on account of the performance of official duties. He is also charged with one count of attempted kidnapping of a U.S. official on account of the performance of official duties.
The assault charges carries a potential 30-year prison sentence, while the kidnapping charge has a 20-year maximum.
You can read the indictment here.
[Photo by Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty Images.]
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