REVEALED: Paul Pelosi’s attacker planned a SUICIDE mission and had a list of other politicians he wanted to kill – as his former boss says he was completely awash in conspiracies: ‘MAGA, Pizzagate, stolen election – all of it’
- David DePape was ordered held without bail during his arraignment Tuesday in San Francisco court. A public defender entered a not-guilty plea on his behalf
- It was the first public appearance since the early Friday attack for DePape, a fringe activist drawn to conspiracy theories
- In the court filing, prosecutors detailed the attack in stark terms as part of their bid to keep DePape behind bars
- Paul Pelosi was knocked unconscious by the hammer attack and woke up in a pool of his own blood, the filing said
- A landscaper who employed DePape in the years leading up to the attack, has revealed the suspect became involved in right-wing conspiracy theories
- ‘He really believed in the whole MAGA, ‘Pizzagate,’ stolen election thing,’ DePape’s former boss, Frank Ciccarelli, told the New York Times Tuesday
The man accused of breaking into House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s home with a hammer was on a ‘suicide mission,’ prosecutors said in court Tuesday, in a filing that revealed the suspect had plans to target other politicians as well.
The bombshell declaration comes as more information about the attacker, Bay Area resident David DePape, continues to come to light – as he faces attempted murder charges for beating Pelosi‘s husband Paul to within an inch of his life.
DePape, 42, appeared in court for the first time Tuesday, pleading not guilty to what officials are now claiming was a premeditated attack.
His right arm strapped up in a sling, the suspect delivered the plea through a public defender while wearing a prison issue jumpsuit.
The injury was said to be the result of last Friday’s early morning struggle with 82-year-old Paul Pelosi, which saw DePape rain blows on the man after demanding to see his wife, who was in Washington at the time. He remains hospitalized after undergoing surgery.
The jaw-dropping filing provided new and chilling details about the attack in San Francisco’s affluent Pacific Heights neighborhood – including insight into DePape’s belief in conspiracy theories that may have spurred him to view Pelosi as an enemy of the country.
Meanwhile, a landscaper, who employed DePape in the years leading up to the attack, has revealed the suspect became involved in right-wing conspiracy theories such as QAnon and MAGA, falling into isolation and darkness.
The man accused of breaking into House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s home with a hammer last Friday, Bay Area resident Paul DePape (pictured) , was on a ‘suicide mission,’ prosecutors now claim, in a filing Tuesday that revealed the suspect had plans to target other politicians as well
Paul Pelosi was knocked unconscious by the early-morning hammer attack Friday and woke up in a pool of his own blood, the filing said. House Speaker Nancy was not home at the time
A courtroom artist’s sketch of Paul DePape as he appeared in court on Tuesday afternoon
Frank Ciccarelli, a San Francisco-based carpenter who builds houses and makes furniture for a living, hired a then homeless DePape off the streets in 2016, saying at the time he looked to be a soft-spoken liberal living the lifestyle of a Bay Area hippie.
Speaking to The New York Times Tuesday of his former employee: ‘He really believed in the whole MAGA, ‘Pizzagate,’ stolen election thing.
‘You know, all of it, all the way down the line,’ the landscaper, who helped arrange for DePape to move into a converted garage in Richmond, said.
He recalled how DePape, at the time, came off as a quiet, likeable, and a steady worker who built decks with him for six years, describing him as politically liberal.
However, after falling into and out of homelessness, DePape would fall into isolation and darkness, his ex-boss said, spending more and more time online where he trolled forums rife with conspiracy theories and bigotry.
Ciccarelli described how he laid witness to DePape’s steady descent into right-wing extremism over the years, which he said started when DePape would turn off famously liberal radio news network NPR on morning rides on the way to jobsites.
DePape allegedly said he had other targets, including a local professor as well as several prominent state and federal politicians – and members of their families
‘It was a gradual process – it was over six years,’ Ciccarelli recalled, ‘day by day.’
Once softspoken and shy, DePape soon began to press forward talking points that Ciccarelli recognized as being commonplace in right wing circles, such as those pertaining to Hillary Clinton’s misuse of her federal email account in the buildup to the 2016 election, as well as the Pizzagate controversy that same year.
Since debunked, the conspiracy theory falsely claimed that coded messages leaked by WikiLeaks linked several high-ranking Democratic Party officials and U.S. restaurants to an alleged human trafficking and child sex ring.
DePape was also adamant that there was foul play amid the counting process during the 2016 election, repeatedly claiming the election was illegally stolen from former President Donald Trump by the Democratic Party.
‘It was the whole thing – Hillary Clinton, Pizzagate, MAGA, the election was stolen – all of it,’ the landscaper said.
DePape is facing six counts in total – which include residential burglary, false imprisonment of an elder and assault with a deadly weapon – and pleaded not guilty to all six via his lawyer, Public Defender Adam Lipson.
Meanwhile, a landscaper who employed DePape in the years leading up to the attack, Frank Ciccarelli has siunce revealed the suspect became increasingly involved in right-wing conspiracy theories like QAnon and MAGA over the years, falling into isolation and darkness
The Pelosi family had asked for a Zoom link to be able to watch Tuesday’s proceedings – a request that was not granted due to the judge reportedly not receiving it ahead of time.
Tuesday’s filing further revealed DePape allegedly said he had other targets, including a local professor as well as several prominent state and federal politicians – and members of their families.
Despite facing a possible life sentence, he appeared impassive during the session, tipping his head to the side at one point to confer with Lipson.
David DePape was ordered held without bail during his arraignment Tuesday in San Francisco Superior Court.
His public defender entered a not-guilty plea on his behalf.
It was the first public appearance since the early Friday attack for DePape, with others that know him confirming fringe activism and infatuation with conspiracy theories.
San Francisco deputy public defender Adam Lipson, attorney for David DePape, who is accused of attacking House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband Paul Pelosi, leaves his client’s arraignment in San Francisco Superior Court on Tuesday
David DePape was ordered held without bail during his arraignment Tuesday in San Francisco Superior Court. Lipson (pictured) entered the not-guilty plea on his behalf
In the court filing, prosecutors detailed the attack in stark terms as part of their bid to keep DePape behind bars. Paul Pelosi was knocked unconscious by the hammer attack and woke up in a pool of his own blood, the filing said.
DePape’s intent ‘could not have been clearer,’ San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins wrote in the filing.
‘He forced his way into the Pelosi home intending to take the person third in line to the presidency of the United States hostage and to seriously harm her.
‘Thwarted by Speaker Pelosi’s absence, Defendant continued on his quest and would not be stopped, culminating on the near fatal attack on Mr. Pelosi.’
Without being questioned, DePape told officers and medics at the scene that he was sick of the ‘lies coming out of Washington D.C.,’ the filing said.
‘I didn´t really want to hurt him, but you know this was a suicide mission. I´m not going to stand here and do nothing even if it cost me my life.’
‘This case demands detention,’ Jenkins wrote. ‘Nothing less.’
Wearing orange jail clothing, DePape only spoke to tell Judge Diane Northway how to pronounce his last name. The 42-year-old defendant, whose shoulder was dislocated during his arrest, is scheduled to return to court Friday.
After the hearing, DePape’s public defender Adam Lipson said he looks forward to providing DePape with a ‘vigorous legal defense.’
‘We’re going to be doing a comprehensive investigation of what happened. We’re going to be looking into Mr. DePape’s mental state, and I´m not going to talk any further about that until I have more information,’ Lipson said.
San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins, left, announces the charges against David DePape during a news conference with San Francisco Police Department Chief Bill Scott, right, in San Francisco, Monday
Investigators work outside the home of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her husband Paul Pelosi in San Francisco, Friday, Oct. 28, 2022. Paul Pelosi, was attacked and severely beaten by an assailant with a hammer who broke into their San Francisco home early Friday, officials said
He later said he was pleased that Paul Pelosi was improving and urged the public not to pass judgment on what he called ‘a complicated situation.’
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 elections 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 warnings about rising extremism in the U.S.
DePape faces state charges of attempted murder, burglary and elder abuse. He also 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.
San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins announces the charges against David DePape during a news conference in San Francisco, Monday
Jenkins’ filing said while Paul Pelosi was on the phone with the 911 operator, DePape was gesturing and telling him to hang up.
Pelosi then told the dispatcher that he did not need police, fire or medical assistance but he instead asked ‘for the Capitol Police because they are usually at the house protecting his wife.’
Moments later the dispatcher heard him interacting with a man and Paul Pelosi said ‘Uh, he thinks everything´s good. Uh, I´ve got a problem, but he thinks everything´s good.’
Speaker Pelosi was in Washington at the time and under the protection of her security detail, which does not extend to family members. She quickly returned to San Francisco, where her husband was hospitalized and underwent surgery for a skull fracture and other injuries.
The defendant, once described by his peers as a liberal, is scheduled to return to court Friday
In Washington, U.S. Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger provided a sobering update Tuesday of security protocols for members of Congress.
Manger said that although many improvements have been made since the Capitol attack, including the hiring of nearly 280 officers by the end of this year, ‘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.’