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Police tape blocks a street outside the home of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her husband Paul Pelosi in San Francisco, on October 28.

The man accused of using a hammer to attack Paul Pelosi, the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, at their San Francisco home on Friday faces federal and state charges, officials said Monday.

Included in court filings, an FBI affidavit that was unsealed provided new details about what happened.

Here’s what happened, according to law enforcement:

  • Federal court filings said police arrived at the house shortly after Paul Pelosi called 911.
  • When the door opened, Pelosi and the suspect, David DePape, were both “holding a hammer with one hand and DePape had his other hand holding onto Pelosi’s forearm,” the FBI affidavit said.
  • When officers asked Pelosi and DePape to drop the hammer, DePape allegedly pulled it away and hit Pelosi in the head. A source familiar with the matter later told CNN that Pelosi was hit twice. San Francisco Police Chief William Scott previously said Pelosi was hit “at least once.”
  • Pelosi “appeared to be unconscious on the ground” after the blow, according to the affidavit.
  • Pelosi was taken to the hospital and underwent a “successful surgery to repair a skull fracture and serious injuries to his right arm and hands,” according to a previous statement from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office. 

What else to know:

The charges

David DePape was charged with federal counts of assault and attempted kidnapping, the US attorney’s office for the Northern District of California announced. The attempted kidnapping charge carries a maximum of 20 years in prison and the assault charge has a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison. San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins also announced additional state charges, including attempted murder.

The break-in

The suspect was able to get into the house by breaking a rear glass door, Jenkins said, adding that DePape allegedly went upstairs to where Pelosi was sleeping. She said he woke him up and confronted him about the whereabouts of the speaker. Pelosi tried to get to the elevator in the home which had a phone in it, according to Jenkins, but the suspect blocked him. “It was at some point after that Mr. Pelosi asked to go to the bathroom, which is where he was able to call 911 from his cell phone,” she said, adding that’s when the suspect brought Pelosi downstairs near the front door.

Pelosi’s 911 call

A court filing related to the federal charges said Paul Pelosi “stated words to the effect of there is a male in the home and that the male is going to wait for Pelosi’s wife. Pelosi further conveyed that he does not know who the male is. The male said his name is David,” an FBI agent said in a sworn affidavit. CNN has previously reported that Pelosi managed to keep the line open and the dispatcher could hear a conversation in the background.

Looking for Nancy Pelosi

DePape confessed in an interview with local police that he intended to find Nancy Pelosi and hold her hostage, the criminal complaint said. It added that DePape, “stated that he was going to hold Nancy hostage and talk to her. If Nancy were to tell DePape the ‘truth,’ he would let her go, and if she ‘lied,’ he was going to break ‘her kneecaps.’” The affidavit further stated that DePape told police that Nancy Pelosi was the “leader of the pack” of lies promoted by the Democratic party.

Interviews with Pelosi and the suspect

Paul Pelosi was interviewed this weekend at the hospital by investigators and was able to provide details of the attack, two law enforcement sources and a source familiar with the matter told CNN. DePape was read his Miranda rights before he spoke with the police and confessed to his intentions to kidnap the top-ranking House Democrat, according to the filings.


Police have not officially determined the motive of the suspect. San Francisco Police Chief William Scott said in a news conference Friday that the attack was “intentional” and “not a random act.” The unsealed affidavit said, “DePape had zip ties, tape, rope, and at least one hammer with him that morning.”

What’s next: The suspect is expected to be arraigned Tuesday, according to San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins.

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