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Man faces federal charges in assault on Paul Pelosi


SAN FRANCISCO — A federal grand jury on Wednesday indicted a man in the attack last month on the husband of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on charges of assault and attempted kidnapping.

The allegations related to the Oct. 28 burglary of Pelosi’s San Francisco home are the same as but supersede those in an earlier federal complaint filed Oct. 31.

The attack rocked the political world just days before hotly contested midterm elections, the first national elections since the Capitol uprising on January 6, 2021. Threats to lawmakers and election officials hit record high as authorities warn of growing extremism in US

David DePape, 42, of Richmond, a San Francisco suburb, was arrested Oct. 28 at Pelosi’s residence after San Francisco police responded to a 911 call from Paul Pelosi. He told officers he was sleeping when a man he had never seen before entered his bedroom looking for Nancy Pelosi.

Officers found Paul Pelosi, 82, and DePape fighting over a hammer, but DePape took control and hit Pelosi in the head, according to the six-page indictment. It said officers later discovered the glass door on the back porch had been broken. They found a roll of tape, white rope, a second hammer, a pair of rubber and cloth gloves, and a zip tie.

DePape’s public defender, Adam Lipson, did not immediately return phone and email messages. He said last week that he had pleaded not guilty to related state charges against DePape, a fringe activist who attracts conspiracy theories. A San Francisco judge ordered DePape held without bail on state charges of attempted murder, burglary and elder abuse, and he was also placed in federal custody in the case.

He faces federal charges, including assaulting a family member of a US official with the intent to retaliate against the official for performing his official duties. The second charge alleges that he attempted to kidnap a US official in the line of duty.

The first charge carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in federal prison, the second charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years.

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