On Oct. 28, Paul Pelosi, the husband of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, was brutally attacked in the couple’s San Francisco home in the early hours of the morning. Pelosi was attacked with a hammer by the intruder, a man named David DePape. DePape’s attack was politically motivated, saying he wanted to “take them all out” and that Nancy was “the ‘leader of the pack’ of lies told by the Democratic Party,” according to the New York Times. The attack occurred just before the contentious midterm elections, and the impact it has left on politics and political leaders is widespread.
Pelosi was rushed to the hospital to be treated for the serious injuries he sustained, particularly to the head. He has undergone surgery and he still has recovery ahead, however, the 82-year-old was released from the hospital after a six-day stay. DePape has been charged with attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, elder abuse, residential burglary, false imprisonment and threatening a public official, and he has pleaded not guilty, according to NBC News.
The intruder was looking for Nancy Pelosi to kidnap her using zip ties and break her kneecaps. At the time of the attacks, she was in Washington D.C. for work. According to police reports, Paul Pelosi was able to talk calmly to the intruder before eventually calling the police from a bathroom. Police took 8 minutes to arrive, and when they did they found Pelosi injured with a skull fracture and unconscious after he and DePape struggled over a hammer.
The effect of the violent attacks has led to numerous questions about the safety of political leaders and their families. Nancy Pelosi was told of the attacks by Capitol Police early in the morning of Oct. 28. Pelosi also said that the question of her retirement is impacted by these personal attacks on her family. Capitol Police have also said they are working on ways to further secure the home.
The attack has led to many conspiracy theories surrounding the case. Some have even been spread by Elon Musk, who has a prominent voice due to his recent takeover of Twitter. The tweets by Musk have been deleted, according to the New York Times, but the impact is still widespread. Former President Donald Trump has also spread various conspiracy theories about the incident. The attack is also reminiscent of the Jan. 6 insurrection, where political leaders such as Nancy Pelosi and Mike Pence faced direct, violent threats.
According to the Washington Post, President Biden responded by condemning violent acts against political leaders, saying, “What makes us think one party can talk about stolen elections, COVID being a hoax, [that it’s] all a bunch of lies, and it does not affect people who may not be so well-balanced? What makes us think that it’s not going to alter the political climate? Enough is enough is enough.”
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