Paul Pelosi's accused attacker held without bail
A San Francisco judge on Tuesday ordered the man accused of breaking into House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s home, beating her husband and seeking to kidnap her, to be held without bail.
Adam Lipson, a lawyer for defendant David DePape, entered a not guilty plea on Depape’s behalf during the brief hearing in Superior Court in San Francisco. It was the first public appearance since the early Friday attack for DePape, a fringe activist drawn to conspiracy theories.
The attack on 82-year-old Paul Pelosi sent shockwaves through the political world just days before the hotly contested midterm elections. Threats against lawmakers and election officials have been at all-time highs in this first nationwide election since the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the Capitol, and authorities have issued warning about rising extremism in the U.S.
The 42-year-old DePape faces state charges of attempted murder, burglary and elder abuse. The public defender’s office, which is representing him, did not immediately return a request for comment.
In Washington, U.S. Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger provided a sobering update Tuesday of security protocols for members of Congress.
Manger said that although many improvements have been made since the Capitol attack, including the hiring of nearly 280 officers by the end of this year, “there is still a lot of work to do.”
“We believe today’s political climate calls for more resources to provide additional layers of physical security for members of Congress,” he said.
Manger said the attack on Pelosi’s husband was “an alarming reminder of the dangerous threats elected officials and public figures face during today’s contentious political climate.”
Speaker Pelosi was in Washington at the time and under the protection of her security detail, which does not extend to family members. She swiftly returned to San Francisco, where her husband was hospitalized and underwent surgery for a skull fracture and other injuries.
District Attorney Brooke Jenkins said the assault on Paul Pelosi appeared to be premeditated, and she appealed to Americans to “tone down” the political rhetoric.
Mascaro reported from Washington. Associated Press writers Stefanie Dazio in Los Angeles and Michael Balsamo in Washington contributed.