The Man Accused of Attacking Pelosi’s Husband Apologizes for Hammer Assault
David DePape echoed right-wing conspiracy theories to explain that he went to the Pelosis’ home as part of a bigger plot.
By The Associated Press |
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The man accused of attacking former U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband with a hammer apologized Tuesday, echoing right-wing conspiracy theories to explain to jurors that he went to the Pelosis’ home as part of a bigger plot to end what he viewed as government corruption.
David DePape spoke for more than an hour in which he tearfully recounted about how his political leanings went from leftist to right wing after reading a comment on a YouTube video about former President Donald Trump. He said he bludgeoned Paul Pelosi after realizing his larger plan might be unraveling.
Testimony wrapped up later Tuesday, with closing arguments expected Wednesday. DePape has pleaded not guilty to attempted kidnapping of a federal official and assault on the immediate family member of a federal official with intent to retaliate against the official for performance of their duties. His attorneys argue that he was not seeking to go after Nancy Pelosi because of her official duties as a member of Congress and so the charges do not fit.
The attack happened in the early hours of Oct. 28, 2022, just days before the midterm elections.
DePape, 43, said he went to the Pelosis’ home to talk to Nancy Pelosi about Russian involvement in the 2016 election, and that he planned to wear an inflatable unicorn costume and upload his interrogation of her online. Prosecutors say he had rope and zip ties with him.
DePape testified that his plan was to get Nancy Pelosi and other targets to admit to their corruption. “If she lied, I would break her kneecaps,” he said. “The choice is on her.”
He then wanted President Joe Biden to pardon the targets “so we can move forward as a country,” he said.
In testimony Monday, Paul Pelosi recounted the attack publicly for the first time. He recalled being awakened by a man bursting into the bedroom door and asking, “Where’s Nancy?” He said that when he responded that his wife was in Washington, DePape said he would tie him up while they waited for her.
Paul Pelosi said he managed to call police, but when officers arrived, DePape hit him with a hammer. He said DePape told him he was going to have “to take you out.”
DePape said that he felt bad for Pelosi after hearing testimony from a neurosurgeon who operated on him after the attack and testified Pelosi had two wounds on his head, including a fracture to his skull that had to be mended with plates and screws. Pelosi also needed stitches on injuries to his right arm and hand.
“He was never my target and I’m sorry that he got hurt,” DePape said.
“I reacted because my plan was basically ruined,” he said when asked why he hit Pelosi.