David DePape was found guilty of federal charges in the assault of Paul Pelosi
David Debabe, accused of beating US House of Representatives Speaker Emerita Nancy PelosiHusband Paul Pelosi with a hammer at the couple’s San Francisco mansion last year, and was found guilty of the charges in federal court on Thursday.
DePape was convicted of two counts: attempted kidnapping of a federal official and assault on a member of a federal official’s immediate family with intent to retaliate against the official for performing his duties.
There was no visible reaction from DePape as the jury’s decision was announced in the courtroom. The jury deliberated for approximately eight hours before reaching its verdict.
“In America, people are free to believe what they want and engage in spirited political debate,” US Attorney Ismail Ramsey said outside the courtroom. “This guilty verdict on all counts sends a clear message that regardless of your beliefs, what you cannot do is attack a member of Congress or their immediate family for doing their job.”
The attack on 82-year-old Paul Pelosi just days before last year’s midterm electionsIt sent shockwaves through the political world, and is the latest incident of violence attributed to the demonization of political discourse.
When he took his position on Tuesday,He went looking for Nancy Pelosi as part of a larger plan to end what he saw as government corruption, a view reinforced by his endless consumption of right-wing media and outlandish conspiracy theories.
DiPepe’s defense did not dispute that the 43-year-old struck Paul Pelosi several times with a hammer, fracturing his skull and injuring his hands and arms, after breaking into Pelosi’s home on October 28, 2022. His lawyers argued that he was not seeking to go after then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi due to her official duties as a member of Congress, so the charges were not appropriate.
“The defense here is, we will probably never know why this defendant chose to stand trial,” said Rory Little of the University of California, San Francisco. “I think he wanted to take the stand. One question is why they didn’t raise an insanity defense. He seems very deluded.”
Instead, defense lawyers tried to refute the charges, arguing that the attack was fueled by right-wing misinformation and deranged anger, rather than intentional targeting of Pelosi because of her role as a congresswoman.
“Defense attorney Jodi Linker is a talented attorney,” Little said. “An extremely talented attorney. She presented a case that seemed completely open and shut, and made it seem very complicated.”
After conviction, Dibab faces up to 50 years in prison.
Pelosi family statement
Nancy Pelosi’s spokesman Aaron Bennett issued the following statement after the rulings:
“Speaker Pelosi and her family are extremely grateful for the outpouring of prayers and warm wishes for Mr. Pelosi from so many across the country during this difficult time. The Pelosi family is very proud of their Bob, who has shown extraordinary composure and courage on the road.” On the night of the attack a year ago and in the courtroom this week, thankfully, Mr. Pelosi continues to make progress in his recovery.
“Due to the ongoing state court proceedings, Speaker Pelosi and her family will not be providing further comment on this matter,” he added.
Dieppe, a Canadian citizen who was living in a parking garage in the East Bay city of Richmond at the time of the attack, said he spent long hours browsing right-wing media, YouTube videos and podcasts. He tearfully testified that he became a follower of Donald Trump after he came to believe the mainstream media was repeatedly spreading lies about the former president.
“At the time I was biased against Trump,” he said with a sigh. “But there is truth there.” “So, if there’s a truth I don’t know, I want to know it.”
According to Dieppe’s own testimony, the break-in at Pelosis’ home was the first on a list of targets that included progressive politicians and celebrities who he came to believe were part of an evil cabal leading the country to ruin. Other names on his list included California Governor Gavin Newsom, California Congressman Adam Schiff, actor Tom Hanks, President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden, and Bay Area scholar and University of Michigan women’s and queer studies professor Dr. Gayle Rubin, identified as ” “Target”. 1 in court papers.
DePape testified that his plan was to convince Nancy Pelosi and other targets to admit their corruption. He said: “If she lies, I will break her knees.” “The choice is on her.” He then asked President Joe Biden to pardon the targets “so we can move forward as a country.”
Earlier this week,Saying he woke up to the sound of a large man bursting into his bedroom and asking, “Where’s Nancy?” When he told DePape that she was in Washington, D.C., DePape responded that he would tie him up while she waited.
“It was a huge feeling of shock when I realized someone had broken into the house and I looked at it and I looked at the hammer and the bands, and I realized I was in grave danger, so I tried to stay as calm as possible.” Pelosi testified.
Pelosi was able to call 911 even while DePipe looked on, and asked Pelosi to tell police he was a friend. Pelosi said he remembers being thankful when police arrived because he had apparently avoided the worst. But when an officer ordered DiPepe to drop the gavel he and Pelosi were holding, he instead shoved Pelosi and “hit me in the head.” Pelosi said he remembers waking up in a pool of blood.
More than a year after the attack, Pelosi said he had not fully recovered.
The state trial is still ahead
DePape testified that he thought he killed Paul Pelosi until he saw that San Francisco prosecutors had charged him with attempted murder.
“He was never my goal and I’m sorry he got hurt,” Debape said.
DePape also pleaded not guilty to charges brought against him in state court of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, elder abuse, residential burglary and other felonies.
The San Francisco District Attorney said: “We are aware of the ruling in Mr. Debab’s federal trial. We will consult with federal prosecutors and the victim in this case to determine our next steps in the state case.” Brooke Jenkins in a prepared statement. “Mr. DePape faces a variety of charges in our case, including attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, elder abuse, and false imprisonment. We are confident in our case and are prepared to move forward to trial.” The court date is November 29, 2023 to set a trial date.”
Wilson Walker contributed to this story. It has been updated to correct the potential sentence DePape now faces.