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What to Know About the Attack on Paul Pelosi

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, 82-year-old Paul Pelosi, remains in the hospital after a man broke into their San Francisco home and attacked him with a hammer early Friday morning.

According to a statement released Friday evening by Nancy Pelosi’s spokesman Drew Hammill, “Paul Pelosi was attacked at home by an assailant who acted with force, and threatened his life while demanding to see the Speaker.”

The man, identified by the San Francisco Police Department as 42-year-old David DePape, is charged with attempted homicide, assault with a deadly weapon, elder abuse, burglary, and several other felonies, Police Chief William Scott told reporters on Friday morning.
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Hammill issued a statement on Friday morning saying Paul Pelosi is expected to make a full recovery, and that Nancy Pelosi was not in San Francisco at the time of the attack. Hammill later provided an update saying that Paul Pelosi was admitted to the “Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital where he underwent successful surgery to repair a skull fracture and serious injuries to his right arm and hands.”

“The Speaker and her family are thankful for the outpouring of support and prayers from friends, constituents and people around the country,” Hammill added. “The Pelosi family is immensely grateful to Mr. Pelosi’s entire medical team and the law enforcement officers who responded to the assault. The family appreciates respect for their privacy during this time.”

Here’s what to know about the incident.

What we know so far about the attack

Scott said police on the scene witnessed DePape “violently attack” Paul Pelosi with the hammer.

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Scott said police were dispatched to the Pelosi home at about 2:30 in the morning, where they found both DePape and Pelosi holding a hammer. DePape allegedly pulled the hammer away from Pelosi and attacked him, before a police officer tackled DePape. Both men were taken to a hospital, Scott said. The motive behind the attack is still under investigation.

The FBI and the U.S. Capitol Police are joining the San Francisco Police Department’s Special Investigations Division in an investigation into the attack. The Police Department is also working closely with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the San Francisco District Attorney, Scott said on Friday.

Though Congress is currently in recess ahead of the midterm elections, Nancy Pelosi was in Washington at the time of the attack. She canceled her plans to attend the Human Rights Campaign National Dinner on Saturday evening, according to the Associated Press.

What we know so far about the alleged assailant

CNN reports that a Facebook account belonging to DePape has been taken down, but that he often posted conspiracy theories about COVID-19 vaccines, the January 6 insurrection, and the 2020 election. Among the public posts was a video by My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell falsely claiming the 2020 election was stolen.

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The Facebook page also contained false posts about George Floyd’s death and aftermath, and posts promoting a conspiracy theory known as the “Great Reset” which believes that COVID-19 is being used by elites to usher in a new world order. None of the public posts mention Pelosi, according to CNN.

Gene DePape, who CNN reports is David DePape’s stepfather, told the news outlet that David grew up in Canada. Gene DePape and Mark DePape, who CNN cites as David DePape’s uncle, said David was estranged from the family.

How Nancy Pelosi and other lawmakers responded

Speaker Pelosi has not spoken publicly about the incident, but many other lawmakers have said that that attack is a wake-up call about escalating political violence and the potential consequences of heated national political discourse.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat, shared on Twitter that she was “shocked” by the news of the attack. “As we learn more about the motives, I hope this serves as a reminder that all of us in public life and commenting about public officials should tone down the political rhetoric and avoid fueling division and violence – particularly during the heightened tension of this election,” she wrote.

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California Governor Gavin Newsom also weighed in in a public statement on Friday. “This heinous assault is yet another example of the dangerous consequences of the divisive and hateful rhetoric that is putting lives at risk and undermining our very democracy and Democratic institutions,” Newsom said. “Those who are using their platforms to incite violence must be held to account.”
“This morning’s terrifying attack on Paul Pelosi by a man obsessed with election conspiracies is a dangerous reality encouraged by some members of my own party,” Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, a Republican on the House panel investigating the January 6 Capitol attack, wrote on Twitter. “I’m thankful he will be okay. This must be condemned by every Member of Congress & candidate. Now.”
President Joe Biden called Nancy Pelosi this morning, according to a White House spokesperson, and “continues to condemn all violence.”
Republican Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin is facing criticism for his comment about the attack. While campaigning on behalf of House candidate Yesli Vega, Youngkin addressed the attack. “Speaker Pelosi’s husband had a break-in last night in their house, and he was assaulted,” he said. “There’s no room for violence anywhere, but we’re going to send her back to be with him in California. That’s what we’re going to go do.”
In response, Newsom wrote, “This is funny to you? Pathetic,” on Twitter.

from TIME
via Time.com

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