David DePape, who attacked Paul Pelosi with a hammer, was found guilty of attempted kidnapping and assault on Thursday.
David DePape, the assailant who attacked Paul Pelosi with a hammer in the couple’s San Francisco home last year, has been found guilty by a federal jury. The jury convicted DePape, 43, on charges of attempted kidnapping of a federal official and assault on the immediate family member of a federal official.
The unanimous verdicts were reached after seven hours of deliberation over two days. DePape faces a potential life sentence in federal prison. The October 28, 2022, attack left Paul Pelosi, husband of former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, with a fractured skull.
DePape’s defense did not contest the break-in and assault but argued a narrow point that DePape never intended to kidnap anyone and his actions were not directly linked to Pelosi’s role as a federal lawmaker. Instead, they claimed DePape sought to involve Pelosi and his wife in reaching a person labeled “Target 1,” identified as scholar Gayle Rubin.
The trial exposed DePape’s association with conspiracy theories and far-right beliefs. He testified about baseless allegations that fueled his actions during the attack. DePape had planned to wear an inflatable unicorn costume and record an interrogation of Nancy Pelosi, as revealed during the trial.
Despite DePape’s admission of breaking into the Pelosi residence with a plan to hold the former House speaker hostage, the defense argued that his motivations were rooted in conspiracy theories, not retaliation for Pelosi’s official duties.
While DePape awaits sentencing, he also faces state charges, including attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, and other offenses related to the invasion of Pelosi’s home. The jury’s decision sheds light on the impact of conspiracy theories in modern politics and raises questions about the motivations behind such violent acts.