Paul Pelosi Attack Suspect Pleads Not Guilty to Federal Charges

Paul Pelosi Attack Suspect Pleads Not Guilty to Federal Charges
David DePape in Berkeley, Calif., on Dec. 13, 2013. (Michael Short/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)
Zachary Stieber

A man accused of attacking U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) husband pleaded not guilty on Nov. 15 to federal charges of attempting to kidnap a federal official and assaulting a federal official’s family member.

David DePape, appearing in orange clothes without handcuffs, was assigned a public defender who entered the plea on his behalf during a brief court appearance in a U.S. court in San Francisco.

DePape, 42, was recently indicted on two charges: assault on an immediate relative of a U.S. official and attempted kidnapping of a U.S. official.

The charges carry up to 50 years in prison.

According to charging documents, DePape broke into the Pelosi residence in San Francisco during the early hours of Oct. 28. He was searching for Nancy Pelosi. He woke up Paul Pelosi, the speaker’s husband, and asked where she was. Paul Pelosi said she was not there. DePape said he'd wait. He agreed to let Paul Pelosi use the bathroom. Paul Pelosi called 911 from the bathroom, and police officers arrived within minutes.

After the door was opened, officers ordered the men to drop a hammer both were holding, but DePape gained control and struck Paul Pelosi in the head.

Officers then tackled the man, disarming him, and discovered a roll of tape, rope, and rubber gloves inside the man’s backpack.

Paul Pelosi was rushed to a nearby hospital, underwent emergency surgery, and has since been released.

DePape dislocated his shoulder and was also treated before being sent to jail, according to one of his public defenders.

DePape later told authorities he intended to kidnap Nancy Pelosi and break her kneecaps if she didn’t tell the truth, but she was in Washington at the time. DePape allegedly told Paul Pelosi that politicians are corrupt and “we’ve got to take them all out,” and told officers that he saw Pelosi as the “leader” of the Democrat Party’s lies, and by breaking her kneecaps, she would have to be wheeled into Congress, which would highlight to other members that there were consequences for their actions.

DePape also wanted to use Nancy Pelosi to lure another person, who has not been identified by authorities.

DePape, a Canadian national, is in the United States illegally, federal officials have confirmed.
DePape has already pleaded not guilty to state charges, including attempted murder, burglary, and elder abuse.

The state charges carry up to life in prison.

Christine Pelosi, one of the Pelosi children, sat in the courtroom during DePape’s appearance. Christine Pelosi also attended DePape’s arraignment on the state charges.

DePape is being held without bail in state custody.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.