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Attacker of Nancy Pelosi’s husband convicted, again, in California court

By Thomson Reuters Jun 21, 2024 | 7:28 PM

(Reuters) – A right-wing conspiracy theorist who attacked the husband of former U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with a hammer was convicted of a host of charges in state court on Friday, following his conviction in federal court last year.

A California jury convicted David DePape of kidnapping, burglary, false imprisonment, threatening the family member of a public official, and dissuading a witness.

The state conviction could add more prison time for DePape, who in May was sentenced by a U.S. district judge to 30 years in federal prison for attempted kidnapping and assault of an immediate family member of a federal official.

The state charges carry a potential sentence of up to life in prison.

DePape, 44, broke into the Pelosis’ San Francisco home and struck Paul Pelosi over the head with a hammer in the early morning hours of Oct. 28, 2022, while Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, was still speaker of the House of Representatives and away in Washington.

Pelosi remains a member of the House.

After the conviction, a spokesperson for Nancy Pelosi issued a statement on behalf of the Pelosi family praising Paul Pelosi for his “bravery” in testifying in the state trial, as he had in the federal case.

“For nearly 20 grueling months, Mr. Pelosi has demonstrated extraordinary courage and fortitude every day of his recovery. The Pelosi family is grateful for the kind thoughts and prayers they continue to receive,” said the statement, adding that there would be no further comment until sentencing is complete.

Paul Pelosi was knocked unconscious and hospitalized for several days, undergoing surgery for skull fractures. He also sustained injuries to his hands and right arm.

Evidence in the federal trial showed DePape was driven by right-wing conspiracy theories, embracing the fictions spread by QAnon, questioning the Holocaust, and feeding off political accusations against Hunter Biden, the son of President Joe Biden, and George Soros, the billionaire Holocaust survivor.

DePape’s defense attorneys did not contest the evidence at either trial, and focused on DePape’s state of mind and how he was consumed by conspiracy theories.

DePape told the federal jury he wanted to kidnap Nancy Pelosi, interrogate her, and break her kneecaps if he found her to be lying. But after breaking in he instead found her husband, then age 82, asleep in his bed. DePape said the attack was a reaction to his original plan going awry.

“He was never my target and I’m sorry that he got hurt,” DePape said.

(Reporting by Daniel Trotta; Editing by Leslie Adler)