U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband assaulted with hammer


An intruder who attacked the husband of US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi was searching for the Democratic politician, reports say.

Paul Pelosi, 82, was taken to hospital after a break-in at their California home on Friday morning. He is expected to make a full recovery.

The suspect has been identified as a 42-year-old man.

He entered the home with a hammer and – after confronting Mr Pelosi – reportedly shouted “where is Nancy?”.

Mrs Pelosi was in Washington, and not at the San Francisco residence, when the incident took place.

“The Speaker and her family are grateful to the first responders and medical professionals involved, and request privacy at this time,” a spokesman for the senior Democrat said.

In a news conference later on Friday, San Francisco Police Chief William Scott said officers had responded to a call at around 02:27 local time (09:27 GMT).

They found Mr Pelosi and the suspect – identified as David DePape – both holding a hammer, but it was wrestled from Mr Pelosi’s control and he was violently assaulted with it.

The suspect was then tackled and disarmed by officers. He has been charged with attempted homicide, assault with a deadly weapon, burglary and several other felonies, Mr Scott said, adding that the motive for the attack was still unclear.

Aerial footage of the house showed damage to two rear doors – with broken glass strewn on the ground – where the suspect had apparently entered the property.

Mrs Pelosi is one of the most powerful politicians in the country. She was re-elected to a fourth term as Speaker of the House of Representatives in 2021, making her second in line to the presidency after Vice-President Kamala Harris.

The Baltimore native has represented the San Francisco area in Congress since 1987, and typically splits her time between California and Washington.

She is currently fundraising and campaigning with Democrats around the country ahead of the midterm elections on 8 November, and was in Washington with her security detail at the time of the attack.

Her husband, the multimillionaire founder of a venture capital firm, resides primarily in San Francisco where he was born and raised.

The couple have been married since 1963 and have five children. Their combined net worth, primarily from Mr Pelosi’s investments, has made the speaker one of the richest members of Congress.

The FBI and the US Capitol Police, which has a field office in California, are assisting San Francisco police with the investigation.

The US Capitol Police, which is tasked with protecting congressional leaders, is said to be considering additional protections for families following the attack.

FBI agents work outside the home of US House Speaker Nancy PelosiIMAGE SOURCE,REUTERS
Image caption,

FBI agents work outside the couple’s San Francisco home – the agency and US Capitol Police are assisting the investigation

Members of Congress have been on high-alert over security threats since the riot at the US Capitol in January 2021. Mrs Pelosi’s office in the building was ransacked by supporters of then-President Donald Trump during the attack.

And last year, her San Francisco home was reportedly vandalised with graffiti saying “cancel rent”.

Senior Republicans, such as Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, have also been targeted by vandalism in recent times and politicians have raised concerns about an increase in threats.

Mr McConnell said he he was “horrified and disgusted” by the attack on Mr Pelosi.

In a statement, the White House said President Joe Biden was “praying for Paul Pelosi and for Speaker Pelosi’s whole family”.

Chuck Schumer, the top Democrat in the Senate, said: “What happened to Paul Pelosi was a dastardly act. I wish him a speedy recovery.”

Both added that they had spoken to Mrs Pelosi since the incident.


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