SAN FRANCISCO – A federal jury convicted David DePape of assault and attempted kidnapping charges today in connection with his Oct. 28 intrusion into the home of Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi and her husband Paul Pelosi, announced United States Attorney Ismail J. Ramsey and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Robert K. Tripp. The verdict follows a trial before the Hon. Jacqueline Scott Corley, U.S. District Judge.
U.S. Attorney Ramsey stated, “We are grateful to the jury for their deliberations and the justice that this verdict signifies. Our public servants and their families deserve to work and live without threats and violence. Defendant’s violent plan to kidnap then-Speaker Pelosi was rooted in his virulent disagreement with her as a result of her official position. His violent plan ended with the assault on Mr. Pelosi. Today’s verdict brings justice to the Pelosi family and to the idea that violence has no place in politics.”
“The brutal and premeditated assault on Mr. Pelosi in the sanctity of his own home was fueled by DePape’s misguided ideology. I am deeply gratified by the jury's verdict, which has ensured that DePape will face the full weight of justice," said FBI Special Agent in Charge Tripp. "The unwavering collaboration between the FBI, the San Francisco Police Department, the San Francisco District Attorney's Office, and the United States Capitol Police played a pivotal role in securing this victory. We remain steadfast in our commitment to protecting our communities from those who seek to divide us through acts of violence and hatred.”
The evidence at trial established that weeks before the attack, DePape, 43, of Richmond, California, targeted Nancy Pelosi, who was then Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, and collected personal information about her, including her home address. DePape kept the information in a computer file he labeled “favorite politicians.” DePape intended to kidnap the then-Speaker, hold her hostage, and break her kneecaps.
The evidence at trial demonstrated that on the night of the assault, DePape used public transportation to travel from the East Bay to San Francisco while carrying two backpacks that contained a hammer, sledgehammer, duct tape, rope, zip ties, and electronic items, among other items. After arriving at the Pelosi residence, DePape used the hammer to break the window of a glass door and enter the home. Then-Speaker Pelosi was not home and her husband, Paul Pelosi, was sleeping on the third floor of the home. DePape roamed the home until he found Mr. Pelosi in the third-floor bedroom.
The trial evidence demonstrated that DePape woke Mr. Pelosi and, while standing three to four feet from him holding the hammer and restraints, made various threats including, “I will take you out.” Mr. Pelosi managed to walk to his bathroom and call 9-1-1, during which he carefully used language to alert the emergency operator to the situation without agitating DePape.
Mr. Pelosi convinced defendant to go downstairs to the first floor and continued talking to DePape. When the police arrived, Mr. Pelosi opened the door and the police ordered DePape to drop the hammer he was holding. Instead, DePape struck Mr. Pelosi three times with full force, fracturing his skull. The responding officers immediately tackled Depape and took him into custody.
On November 9, 2022, a federal grand jury indicted DePape, charging him with one count of assault upon an immediate family member of a United States official with the intent to impede, intimidate, or interfere with the official while engaged in the performance of official duties or with intent retaliate against the official on account of the performance of official duties, and one count of attempted kidnapping of a United States official on account of the performance of official duties. The jury convicted DePape of both charges.
Judge Corley scheduled a status conference for December 13, 2022, at 10 a.m. The assault charge carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and the attempted kidnapping charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. However, any sentence will be imposed only after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.
The National Security and Cyber Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California is prosecuting the case. FBI San Francisco, the U.S. Capitol Police, and the San Francisco Police Department are investigating the case.