David DePape, the man who attacked the husband of former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) with a hammer, was found guilty Thursday on two federal charges.
DePape was found guilty by a jury of assault on an immediate family member of a federal official and of attempted kidnapping of a federal official for the October 2022 attack on Paul Pelosi. The jury deliberated over the course of two days. DePape will be sentenced at a later date.
A spokesperson for Nancy Pelosi issued a statement shortly after the verdict was read.
“Speaker Pelosi and her family are deeply grateful for the outpouring of prayers and warm wishes for Mr. Pelosi from so many across the country during this difficult time,” the statement reads. “The Pelosi family is very proud of their Pop, who demonstrated extraordinary composure and courage on the night of the attack a year ago and in the courtroom this week. Thankfully, Mr. Pelosi continues to make progress in his recovery.”
DePape had plans to kidnap and violently interrogate Nancy Pelosi the night he broke into the couple’s San Francisco home, prosecutors and DePape himself acknowledged during the trial, which lasted a week. In his testimony, DePape said he was influenced by far-right conspiracies to kidnap the lawmaker.
Instead, 42-year-old DePape confronted her husband, 82-year-old Paul Pelosi, who was home alone the night of the assault.
In his testimony on Monday, Paul Pelosi told jurors that DePape walked through his front door carrying a hammer and zip ties.
“It was a tremendous sense of shock to recognize that somebody had broken into the house and looking at him and looking at the hammer and the ties, I recognized that I was in serious danger, so I tried to stay as calm as possible,” Paul Pelosi told jurors.
David DePape in Berkeley, California, in December 2013.
“Where’s Nancy? Where’s Nancy?” DePape asked once inside the home, according to court records.
Police body camera video released earlier this year shows the moment DePape swings his hammer at Paul Pelosi when police confront him.
“Give me your fucking hand,” an officer yells at DePape in the video as Paul Pelosi lies motionless on the floor. Paul Pelosi suffered a skull fracture in the attack.
In his own testimony on Tuesday, DePape sobbed several times while on the stand, and said he felt bad for injuring Paul Pelosi because he was “never my target.” DePape also admitted wanting to target others for what he wrongly believed was a government plot against former President Donald Trump.
DePape told authorities his other targets included California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), actor Tom Hanks and President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter.
DePape testified he would have harmed Nancy Pelosi if she had lied under his questioning.
“If she lied, I would break her kneecaps,” he said on the stand.
DePape testified that before the attack, he fell into far-right conspiracies and listened to far-right media as he played video games for six hours a day. Among his favorite far-right podcasters were Tim Pool and James Lindsay, he said.
It was because of Lindsay that DePape added another target to his list: a University of Michigan professor who taught women’s and queer studies.
“The takeaway I got is that she wants to turn our schools into pedophile molestation factories,” DePape told jurors.
That professor later testified herself, and was asked by a defense attorney if she supported child abuse.
“Absolutely not,” she responded.
DePape faces life in prison. He has also been charged in state court with felony charges including attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and elder abuse. A trial has not yet been scheduled, and DePape has pleaded not guilty to those charges.