The decade's most triggering comedy
With the verdict following a four-day trial, DePape, 43, faces up to 50 years in prison upon the conviction on one count of assault on the immediate family member of a federal official and attempted kidnapping of a federal official. Sentencing is expected to follow some time in the future.
“The Pelosi family is very proud of their Pop, who demonstrated extraordinary composure and courage on the night of the attack a year ago,” read a statement from a spokesperson for Rep. Pelosi. “Thankfully, Mr. Pelosi continues to make progress in his recovery.”
Prosecutors said DePape broke into the Pelosis’ home in San Francisco with a “violent plan to kidnap Nancy Pelosi,” who was not at the abode at the time, and “to hold her hostage,” according to CNN. Paul Pelosi, who is now 83, managed to call police and when officers arrived at the house, body camera footage showed DePape attacking Paul Pelosi with a hammer before law enforcement took DePape into custody.
Paul Pelosi received treatment for a skull fracture, as well as other injuries, and was released from the hospital in early November 2022. He spoke during the trial, sharing details about the harrowing experience and stating, “I’ve made the best effort I possibly can to not relive this.”
DePape’s defense attorneys did not dispute the attack had taken place, but focused rather on the intent, as it was central to the federal case, per the Los Angeles Times.
They argued their client was driven by conspiracy theories, which the defendant himself repeated in testimony, and that he should not be convicted of charges tied to Rep. Pelosi’s official duties, as his alleged goal was more broadly to “root out” corruption and expose wrongdoing by the “ruling class.”
But, according to prosecutors, DePape “targeted” Pelosi because of her high-level position and opted to inflict “the punishment he meant for Nancy Pelosi” on her husband when he realized that the congresswoman was not at home — which amounted to “retaliation.”
The 12-member jury reached a unanimous verdict on both counts DePape faced after several hours of deliberations over multiple days.
U.S. Attorney Ismail Ramsey told reporters that the guilty verdict on Thursday sends a “clear message that regardless of what your beliefs are, what you cannot do is physically attack a member of Congress or their immediate family for their performance in their job,” NBC News reported.
In addition to the federal case, DePape faces state charges of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, elder abuse, residential burglary, and threats to a public official and their family. He has pleaded not guilty. The state case is scheduled to head to trial later this month.