Sat. Dec 9th, 2023

L&rsquo ;attacker of Nancy Pelosi's husband found guilty

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David DePape in Federal Court in San Francisco. He faces life imprisonment for attempted murder.

Agence France-Presse

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The conspiratorial aggressor who attacked the husband of the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, with a hammer in October 2022, a few days before the US mid-term elections, was found guilty on Thursday by a court from San Francisco.

Jurors convicted David DePape of the violent attack, during which he fractured Paul Pelosi's skull, and also found him guilty of attempting to kidnap Ms. Pelosi.

His sentence, which could be up to life, must be pronounced at a later date.

At the time President of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi was the third person in the American state and was regularly the target of conspiracy theories fueled by the extreme right.

The trial showed how Mr. DePape, an illegal and fairly solitary Canadian carpenter, was immersed in a world poisoned by disinformation before moving on to the act.

He deliberately targeted Nancy Pelosi because of her work, her role in our political system, said prosecutor Helen Gilbert.

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Former Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi and her husband Paul Pelosi at the White House last June. (File photo)

At times in tears, the 43-year-old recounted during the trial how he became an avid listener of far-right podcasts.

On social networks, he notably shared publications claiming that American elites were corrupt and engaged in pedophilia, or that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from Donald Trump.

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">Paul Pelosi was never my target and I am sorry that he was hurt, assured Mr. DePape. He said he attacked him when he realized his plan was essentially ruined.

By breaking into the Pelosi couple's home in San Francisco with rope, gloves and duct tape, he initially wanted to attack the parliamentarian, who was in Washington that day.

Video of violent attack on Nancy Pelosi's husband made public

He admitted to investigators that he planned to break her kneecaps if she did not confess to the lies of the Democratic camp.

But sequestering Ms. Pelosi was only the first step in a larger plan, the defendant admitted in court.

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">His nebulous project included other targets, including California Governor Gavin Newsom, President Joe Biden's son Hunter Biden, and #x27;actor Tom Hanks.

His defense focused on portraying a man consumed by what he thought was an anti-corruption crusade. A line that led Mr. DePape to plead not guilty.

Without contesting the attack, his lawyers maintained that he was primarily motivated by his conspiratorial beliefs, and that he did not specifically target Ms. Pelosi in her capacity as a federal official – an essential factor according to the x27;accusation to understand both the assault and the kidnapping plan.

Mr. DePape did horrible things […] he committed serious crimes that night, admitted his lawyer Angela Chuang. But he didn't commit those two crimes because of Ms. Pelosi's official position, she insisted.

During Mr. DePape's intrusion, Paul Pelosi managed to alert the police, who intervened at the last minute. The attack was filmed by the officers' intervention camera.

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David DePape broke into the Pelosi home on October 28, 2022. The video of the assault was made public by a judge on January 27 2023.

Images that the octogenarian, who was hospitalized for almost a week and had to be operated on, still refuses to see more than a year after the fact.

It was so traumatic. I did everything in my power not to relive that, he told jurors.

Happening a few days of the midterm elections, the affair had illustrated the seriousness of the effects of disinformation in the campaign, as well as the deep divisions in the United States.

Some members of the Republican Party mocked the attack or expressed some skepticism despite the images.

The boss of ;a meeting of a sexual nature which allegedly got out of hand.

After this federal trial, David DePape must now be tried by Californian courts.


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