Jury selection started in the federal trial of David DePape, who is charged with the assault of Paul Pelosi and the attempted kidnapping of the then-speaker of the US House of Representatives in October 2022.
Prosecutors say DePape earlier admitted to breaking into the Pelosis’ San Francisco residence with the intention of getting the senior Democrat to acknowledge her party’s ‘lies’ on pain of smashing her kneecaps.
But finding only her then-82-year-old husband at home, he engaged in what he told officers was a ‘pretty amicable’ exchange, during which Paul Pelosi managed to call for help from law enforcement.
The entire incident was caught on shocking body camera footage showing Paul Pelosi inside the home with his alleged attacker.
Jury selection in the trial of David DePape, who allegedly attacked the husband of former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with a hammer in the couple’s California home started on Monday
Prosecutors say DePape admitted to breaking into the Pelosis’ San Francisco residence with the intention of getting the senior Democrat to acknowledge her party’s ‘lies’ on pain of smashing her kneecaps. She was not home at the time
Body camera image from San Francisco police show suspect DePape with Paul Pelosi at the Pelosi’s San Francisco home
In the footage, DePape can apparently be seen bludgeoning Pelosi with a hammer before officers rush at him and take the weapon away.
Pelosi was knocked unconscious and spent almost a week in hospital, where he underwent surgery to repair a skull fracture.
DePape is a former nudist from British Columbia who has struggled with drugs and posts crazed COVID conspiracy theories, anti-Semitic rants, racist slurs and unhinged screeds about religion online.
Cops say they were at the property in the exclusive Pacific Heights neighborhood when they saw the suspect grapple with Pelosi, take the hammer and then hit him with it, causing severe head, arm and hand injuries.
When authorities arrested DePape, they found a manifesto that contained antigovernmental beliefs and a list of other politicians he planned to target,
DePape has pleaded not guilty and appeared in court on Monday clean-shaven and wearing a sweater.
If convicted in this federal trial, he could be sentenced to up to life in prison. He also faces separate state charges in connection to the attack.
Paul Pelosi appears to answer the door in boxer shorts and a pajama top while DePape stands behind him
A screenshot of security footage shows DePape outside the Pelosi home
Paul Pelosi was hit multiple times with the hammer leaving him unconscious as the officers rushed in and arrested DePape
Finding only her then-82-year-old husband at home, DePape engaged in what he told officers was a ‘pretty amicable’ exchange, during which Paul Pelosi, pictured, managed to call for help from law enforcement
Aerial footage showed broken panes and shattered glass at the backdoor of Pelosi’s home
The Pelosis own a four-bedroom San Francisco home that sits in the middle of her congressional district and was purchased in 2007 for $2.2 million but is thought to be worth at least $6 million now
Potential jurors are seen as attorneys stood and watched. He was wearing a light blue shirt and a dark blue sweater
Defense attorneys ask questions of potential jurors as DePape watches at the start of his federal trial depicted in a courtroom sketch
DePape’s blog writings before he allegedly carried out the attack were reportedly brimful of the kind of election denialism and hate speech that has become par for the course for a subsection of the right in America’s deeply divided politics.
The attack was the nadir of a demonization of Nancy Pelosi, who at 83 remains a hate figure for many in the Republican Party despite her barrier-breaking rise to becoming arguably the most powerful woman in American political history.
Even with video evidence of the brutal assault, a raft of conspiracy theories emerged in its aftermath, with senior party voices expressing skepticism over the attack.
Nancy Pelosi was targeted by people who burst into the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.
DePape’s lawyers tried unsuccessfully to change the venue of the trial, arguing that holding it in San Francisco, a region that Nancy Pelosi has represented for more than 35 years in Congress, would make it impossible for him to get a fair trial.
‘I’m a friend of theirs’ – Paul Pelosi’s harrowing 911 call is released
The 911 call shows Paul Pelosi trying to alert the dispatcher to who he is and the danger he’s in, as he says, ‘There’s a gentleman here just waiting for my wife to come back, Nancy Pelosi.’
David DePape’s voice can be heard multiple times on the harrowing call as at one point he identifies himself as a friend of the Pelosi’s.
The 911 call in full:
Dispatcher: San Francisco Police 74.
Paul: Uh, I guess I called by mistake. Who is this?
Dispatcher: This is San Francisco police, do you need help?
Paul: Oh well, there’s a gentlemen here just waiting for me wife to come back, Nancy Pelosi. He’s just waiting for her to come back but she’s not going to be here for a days so I guess he’ll just have to wait.
Dispatcher: Okay, do you need police, fire or medical for anything?
Paul: I don’t think so. I don’t think so… Is the Capitol police around, do you know? They’re usually here at the house protecting my wife.
Dispatcher: No, this is San Francisco police.
Paul: I know. I understand. Okay, well what do you think?
David DePape: I think everything’s good.
Paul: He thinks everything’s good but I’ve got a problem. He thinks everything’s good.
Dispatcher: Okay. Call us back if you change your mind.
Paul: No, no. This gentleman just came into the house and wants to wait here for my wife to come home… (inaudible)
Dispatcher: Do you know who this person is?
Paul: No, I don’t know who he is. He’s telling me not to, not to do anything.
Dispatcher: What is your address, sir?
Paul: 2640 Broadway.
Dispatcher: What is your name?
Paul: My name is Paul Pelosi. Anyway, this gentleman, he’s telling me… He’s telling me to put the phone down and I should do what he says. Okay?
Dispatcher: What’s the gentleman’s name?
DePape: My name is David.
Paul: The name is David.
Dispatcher: Okay, and who is David?
Paul: I don’t know.
DePape: I’m a friend of theirs.
Paul: Yeah, he says he’s a friend.
Dispatcher: But you don’t know who he is?
Paul: No, ma’am.
Paul: He’s telling me I’m being very leading so I gotta stop talking to you, okay?
Dispatcher: You sure? I can stay on the phone with you just to make sure everything’s okay?
Paul: No, he wants me to get the hell off the phone. Okay?
Paul: Thank you.