SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The man accused of breaking into House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's home, beating her husband and seeking to kidnap her is to be arraigned Tuesday on attempted murder and other charges.
David DePape, a fringe activist drawn to conspiracy theories, was expected to face the charges in Superior Court in San Francisco — his first appearance in public since the break-in at 2:20 a.m. last Friday.
The attack on 82-year-old Paul Pelosi sent shockwaves through the political world just days before the hotly contested midterm elections. Threats against lawmakers and election officials have been at all-time highs in this first nationwide election since the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the Capitol, and authorities have issued warning about rising extremism in the U.S.
Besides attempted murder, the 42-year-old DePape faces state charges of burglary and elder abuse. Prosecutors are asking that he be held without bail.
He faces federal charges including attempted kidnapping of a U.S. official. Those charges are outlined in an affidavit detailing the assault, which was largely captured on police body camera imagery after authorities responded to a 911 call from the Pelosis' Pacific Heights home.
In Washington, U.S. Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger provided a sobering update Tuesday of security protocols for members of Congress.
Manger said while many improvements have been made since the Capitol attack, including the hiring of nearly 280 officers by this yearend, “there is still a lot of work to do.”
“We believe today’s political climate calls for more resources to provide additional layers of physical security for members of Congress,” he said
Manger said the attack on Pelosi's husband was “an alarming reminder of the dangerous threats elected officials and public figures face during today’s contentious political climate.”
Speaker Pelosi was in Washington at the time, protected by her security detail, which does not extend to family members. She swiftly returned to San Francisco, where her husband was hospitalized and underwent surgery for a skull fracture and other injuries.
District Attorney Brooke Jenkins said the assault on Paul Pelosi appeared to be premeditated, and she appealed to Americans to “tone down” the political rhetoric.