Nancy Pelosi’s husband attacked in failed assassination attempt


(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Officials wait outside the home of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her husband, Paul Pelosi, in San Francisco, Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2022.

Patrick Kane, World News Editor

In the early hours of Oct. 28, a man wielding a hammer entered the San Francisco home of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, intending to assassinate her. However, he instead ran into her husband, Paul, causing the man to alert the authorities. Nevertheless, the alleged assailant attacked him, bashing him in the head as police arrived. The intruder was then apprehended.

The attacker was later identified as David DePape, a 42-year-old Canadian-born patio builder from California. DePape’s digital footprint revealed him to be a proponent of the QAnon conspiracy theory which maintains that prominent Democratic politicians and other elites are running a global child trafficking and sacrifice ring. He would also be revealed as a COVID-19 skeptic and Gamergater, once expressing the belief that Adolf Hitler “did nothing wrong”. These findings, combined with the fact that he asked Paul Pelosi “Where is Nancy?” repeatedly during the attack, have led many to believe that this was a politically motivated assassination attempt and not a standard home invasion.

Following the incident, Paul Pelosi was rushed to a nearby hospital with a fractured skull as well as other minor injuries and is still in intensive care. Speaker Pelosi was in Washington D.C. at the time of the attack. DePape is currently being charged with assault and attempted kidnapping.

Shortly after the attack, Speaker Pelosi sent out a statement to her House colleagues stating “We are grateful for the quick response of law enforcement and emergency services and for the life-saving medical care he is receiving. Please know that the outpouring of prayers and warm wishes from so many in the Congress is a comfort to our family and is helping Paul make progress with his recovery. His condition continues to improve.”

Many across the political spectrum condemned the act from President Joe Biden to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. However, some on the right, such as Fox News, have garnered scrutiny for framing DePape’s actions as a mere random crime and blaming the attack on the Democratic Party and Biden’s failure to “unite” America.

The attack on Paul Pelosi has become the subject of countless conspiracy theories online, predominately claiming that the attack was a gay lover’s quarrel and that Pelosi was intoxicated. Many prominent figures have come under fire for promoting such conspiracies and skepticism including former President Donald Trump, investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald and, most notably, current Twitter CEO Elon Musk.

Elizabeth Stiles, professor of Political Science at John Carroll, spoke of the implications of what transpired. “It’s disconcerting to see our country degenerate into political violence as a result of political disinformation and our differences. It’s also dismaying that the Secret Service wasn’t watching the home since the Speaker wasn’t there at that time. I’m confident, however, that this attack has demonstrated the importance of guarding family members.” 

“Personally I’m concerned that people won’t want to run for or achieve higher office if they are vilified and their family members are threatened.”