House

Paul Pelosi violently assaulted at Speaker’s home

Paul Pelosi, the husband of Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), was violently assaulted at their residence in San Francisco early Friday morning after an intruder broke in, according to a statement from the Speaker’s office.

Nancy Pelosi was not in San Francisco at the time, according to her spokesman Drew Hammill. U.S. Capitol Police said she was in Washington, D.C., with her protective detail.

Paul Pelosi, 82, was taken to a hospital and is expected to make a “full recovery,” according to Hammill.

A source briefed on the assault said the attacker was looking for the Speaker.

Before the assault occurred, the man confronted Paul Pelosi and shouted, “Where is Nancy? Where is Nancy?” the source said.

Capitol Police said the San Francisco Police Department took the suspect into custody.

“Early this morning, an assailant broke into the Pelosi residence in San Francisco and violently assaulted Mr. Pelosi. The assailant is in custody and the motivation for the attack is under investigation,” Hammill said in a statement.

San Francisco Police Department Chief Bill Scott told reporters during a news conference on Friday that officers were sent to the scene at approximately 2:27 a.m. for an “A priority well-being check.” When they arrived, they saw a 42-year-old male and Paul Pelosi “both holding a hammer.”

“The suspect pulled the hammer away from Mr. Pelosi and violently assaulted him with it,” Scott said.

Officers then “immediately tackled the suspect, disarmed him” and took him into custody. They also requested backup and rendered medical aid. Both Paul Pelosi and the suspect were brought to a local hospital for treatment. Scott identified the intruder as David DePape.

According to The Associated Press, Pelosi suffered blunt force trauma to his head and body and was being treated for bruising, severe swelling and other injuries.

The suspect will be booked at the San Francisco County jail on several charges, including attempted homicide, assault with a deadly weapon and burglary, according to Scott. He said there will be “several other additional felonies.”

The motive for attack “is still being determined,” according to Scott, who said the situation is “an active investigation.”

The Capitol Police in a statement said it is assisting the FBI and San Francisco police in a joint investigation looking into the break-in.

Special agents from Capitol Police’s California field office were sent to the scene, and a team of investigators from the department’s threat assessment section was dispatched to help authorities.

While some details remain known about the attack, it is certain to raise new worries about violence targeting political figures and their families.

Over the summer, a man armed with a pistol was arrested near Rep. Pramila Jayapal’s (D-Wash.) Seattle home after yelling threats at the congresswoman, who was home with her husband at the time.

Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) was separately attacked by a man at a campaign event in New York in June during his gubernatorial race. And earlier this month, the congressman said two people were shot outside his Long Island home. He and his family, however, remained unharmed.

Hammill said Paul Pelosi is receiving “excellent medical care” at a hospital.

“Mr. Pelosi was taken to the hospital, where he is receiving excellent medical care and is expected to make a full recovery. The Speaker was not in San Francisco at the time. The Speaker and her family are grateful to the first responders and medical professionals involved, and request privacy at this time,” Hammill added.

In a statement, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said President Biden “is praying for Paul Pelosi and for Speaker Pelosi’s whole family.”

“This morning he called Speaker Pelosi to express his support after this horrible attack. He is also very glad that a full recovery is expected. The President continues to condemn all violence, and asks that the family’s desire for privacy be respected,” the statement read.

Nancy Pelosi is scheduled to speak at the Human Rights Campaign Annual National Dinner in Washington, D.C., on Saturday. She has been traveling the country in recent weeks ahead of next month’s midterm elections.

Threats against lawmakers have been on the rise in recent years. Between Jan. 1 and March 23 of this year, U.S. Capitol Police opened about 1,820 cases involving direct threats and concerning statements or actions.

In 2021, Capitol Police opened 9,625 cases involving direct threats and concerning statements or actions, and the year before that, 8,613. In 2017, that number was 3,939.

Capitol Police observed the sharp increase in threats against lawmakers during the Trump era, when divisive rhetoric and political divisiveness became more prevalent in Washington.

Those circumstances culminated with the deadly Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol. Several pro-Trump rioters who stormed the building directed threats toward Nancy Pelosi, and her office was vandalized amid the violence.

Friday morning’s incident will likely lead to calls for more security for lawmakers and their families.

In July, the House sergeant at arms announced that it was creating a residential security program that would allocate thousands to dollars to help members of Congress safeguard their homes.

The incident in San Francisco also puts a spotlight on Nancy Pelosi, who is second in line to the presidency and may be nearing the end of her historic, more than 30-year congressional career. Pelosi in 2018 promised that this year would be her last as Speaker, though she has not announced any plans regarding her future.

In addition to Biden, lawmakers from both sides of the aisle sent their well wishes to Paul Pelosi Friday morning, shortly after news broke of his attack.

“What happened to Paul Pelosi was a dastardly act,” Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said in a statement. “I spoke with Speaker Pelosi earlier this morning and conveyed my deepest concern and heartfelt wishes to her husband and their family, and I wish him a speedy recovery.”

Mark Bednar, a spokesperson for House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), said the GOP leader “reached out to the Speaker to check in on Paul and said he’s praying for a full recovery and is thankful they caught the assailant.”

Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.) on Twitter said, “We pray for a speedy recovery for Mr Pelosi, and want the violent criminal held accountable and put behind bars.”

Updated at 4:32 p.m.

Tags Lee Zeldin Nancy Pelosi Nancy Pelosi paul pelosi Pelosi Pramila Jayapal Speaker
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