Paul Pelosi’s attacker David DePape wept on the stand on Tuesday and apologized for beating the House Speaker’s husband, but admits he wanted to interrogate Nancy and was ready to break her kneecaps if she had been home.
David DePape, a former nudist from Canada, entered the Pelosi’s San Francisco mansion through a back door in the early hours of October 28, 2022, and bludgeoned former House Speaker Nancy’s 82-year-old husband Paul.
The attack – which DePape’s defense attorney has conceded he carried out – put Paul Pelosi in hospital with a fractured skull.
In court on Tuesday, DePape admitted he regretted injuring Pelosi during the incident, and only reacted because his ‘plan was ruined’.
According to DePape, he planned to interrogate the House Speaker in her home about ‘Russiagate’ while wearing a unicorn outfit he’d packed in his bag – and intended to post the interaction online.
DePape, who became obsessed with conspiracy theories, has pleaded not guilty to breaking and entering and attempted murder charges.
In court on Tuesday, DePape, seen here, told how he would learn about politics from YouTube videos, podcasts and video games
Paul Pelosi, husband of the former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, is seen leaving the courthouse in San Francisco on Monday after testifying against David DePape
Speaking to the court about his attack on Paul Pelosi, he recalled telling Pelosi: ‘I don’t want to hurt you but I don’t want you to get in the way either.’
Addressing the court room, DePape said: ‘Because he called the cops he was the only one who could basically uncall them.
‘I was hoping he could take it back that would end this in a way that wouldn’t result in violence.
‘He was a very amiable gentleman. I just gave him a squeeze on the shoulder to be reassuring.’
DePape also added that after he struck out at Pelosi he felt ‘really bad’ for him.
He told the court: ‘When he was on the ground, bleeding, I was really scared for his life. I felt really bad for him because we had a really good rapport until like the last second.
‘I reacted because my plan was basically ruined. He was never the target and I’m sorry he got hurt.
According to DePape, his intention was to ask Nancy Pelosi a question about Russiagate.
He told the court: ‘I wanted to ask her a question about Russiagate and film it and post it online.
I was planning to wear the unicorn costume and record it with the body camera I got. I kind of expected her to go along with me and tell me what I wanted to hear.
‘The grand plan was to expose everything at the end about Hunter Biden.’
DePape also admitted that he was prepared to break Nancy Pelosi’s kneecaps if she didn’t tell the truth during his hoped-for interrogation.
David DePape didn’t flinch while watching body camera footage of himself with Paul Pelosi at the Pelosi’s San Francisco home
DePape is seen here swinging the hammer at Paul Pelosi, right, which caused two open skull fractures and bleeding from his scalp
Paul Pelosi is seen testifying on Monday, as David DePape (left) listens
When questioned about the night he made his way into the Pelosi’s home, DePape recalled: ‘I was starting to worry nobody was home. He actually kind of woke up and startled me.’
I asked him if Nancy Pelosi was here, and he said she’s not here. I asked when she was back, he said [the] weekend.
‘At this point I was still hoping to go forward with this portion of plan. He was sitting on [the] bed intimidated.
‘I was like, why don’t I restrain you and sleep. He got into the elevator and was turning towards the phone.
‘I inserted myself into the elevator with him, I turned to him and asked him, do you really want to try this?’
DePape also said he was ‘surprised and confused’ about what he should do next after finding out Pelosi wasn’t home.
Under cross examination by prosecutor Laura Vartain Horn, DePape was asked if he intended to cause violence in the home.
In response, he said: ‘It wasn’t my intention, but it was a possibility.’
When asked if he was preparing to keep Nancy Pelosi hostage with a rope and duct tape on him, he said: ‘I would say no, that’s a miscalculation.’
While under cross examination however, he did admit that he was prepared to kneecap the House Speaker.
Aerial footage showed broken panes and shattered glass at the backdoor of Pelosi’s home
Earlier in the day DePape had spoken of how playing video games and watching YouTube videos had sparked his interest in politics.
He said the gamergate fiasco ‘introduced him to the culture war’. Gamergate was a right-wing backlash against feminism and diversity in video game culture.
DePape also spoke of how ‘he was of the opinion that 9/11 was an inside job’ and that he believed former President Donald Trump was ‘another puppet like [George] Bush.’
At one point, DePape broke down in tears and had to be consoled by a defense lawyer who gave him a tissue.
Following this, he also said: ‘I f***ing love Hunter Biden. He’s like so blatantly corrupt. He doesn’t even try to hide his nepotism.’
The court also heard on Tuesday from neurosurgeon Dr. Michael Huang from the Zuckerberg General Hospital in San Francisco.
Dr. Huang told the court how he was the on-call neurosurgeon the night Pelosi was attacked.
According to Dr. Huang, Pelosi suffered two open skull fractures and was bleeding from his scalp.
Huang said that Pelosi was coherent throughout and operated on him at around four in the morning, discovering a two-inch laceration underneath his hair.
Dr. Huang said the laceration was through the full thickness of the scalp so it was right down to the bone.
The court was shown gruesome pictures of Pelosi with his head shaved after the surgery, with the crack in his skull visible.
Pelosi was also red with blood and bruising, and suffered lacerations to his right arm.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and her husband, Paul Pelosi, arrive at the State Department for the Kennedy Center Honors State Department Dinner, on Dec. 7, 2019
DePape was wearing a light blue shirt and a dark blue sweater during jury selection
On Monday, Pelosi told the court that he tried not to think or talk about the events of October 2022.
Pelosi, 83, described the moment he was woken up before dawn on October 28, saying that it was the first time he was telling the story.
‘The door opened and a very, very large man came in with a hammer in one hand and some ties in the other hand,’ Pelosi told the court, speaking calmly but with emotion in his voice.
‘He said where’s Nancy? He burst into the door and woke me up.’
Testifying for around an hour, Pelosi told the court of his efforts to alert 911 to the threat, without pushing DePape to attack him.
He described negotiating with DePape to go downstairs, where Pelosi hoped he’d be rescued by police. And he told of ‘waking up in a pool of blood’.
Pelosi also told the court that his wife was in Washington DC on the night of October 27, and her security detail, which protected her around the clock, was with her.
DePape is seen on security camera footage outside the Pelosi’s mansion at 5am on October 28.
Earlier on Monday, authorities shared records of DePape’s purchases from Amazon in the months before the attacks, which he took with him to the crime scene.
They included a camping backpack, computer cables, body cameras, crayons and, two Spooktacular unicorn costumes.
On Tuesday, it was revealed that he wanted to wear the unicorn costume while he interrogated Nancy Pelosi.
The prosecution also played a recording of a call DePage later placed to a news reporter, stating: ‘I have an important message for everyone in America. You’re welcome.’
A screenshot of security footage shows DePape outside the Pelosi home during the early hours of October 28, 2022
Pelosi told the court he was horrified to find the imposing stranger in his room, saying: ‘It was a tremendous shock to recognize somebody had broken into the house.
‘Looking at him and the hammer and ties, I recognized I was in serious danger. And so, I tried to stay as calm as possible. I said she’s not here.’
Pelosi said that DePape told him they would wait for her return, and he was ‘going to have to tie you up’ while they waited.
Pelosi continued: ‘I realized it was a very serious situation. I tried to stay as calm as possible. The first thing I tried to do, after some back and forth with him, was to get up and try to get to the elevator.’
He said DePape ‘blocked me’ as he tried to get to the elevator.
‘I went back in and sat on the bed,’ said Pelosi, ‘We had some conversation about him saying that she was leader of the pack, he had to take her out.’
Pelosi said he stood and went to the bathroom, where his cell phone was charging, and called 911.
DePape took the phone from him and told him he was tired – so Pelosi seized the moment.
‘He basically said I’m tired, I’m going to get some sleep. So I’m going to tie you up and I’m going to get some sleep,’ Pelosi recalled.
‘I said okay, I get it, if that’s what you want to do. I said since all your stuff is downstairs, why don’t we go downstairs and you can tie me up downstairs so you can go to sleep?’
Pelosi said that when they got downstairs, DePape realized the police were on their way.
‘He said the police are here, it’s over for me, I’m going to have to take you out,’ Pelosi recalled.
Paul Pelosi was hit multiple times with the hammer leaving him unconscious as the officers rushed in and arrested DePape
The Phillip Burton Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse, where the federal trial of David DePape is underway, is pictured in San Francisco, on Monday, Nov. 13, 2023
Pelosi continued: ‘When I opened the door I thought, thank God the police were here.
‘And there was this huge guy with a hammer in his hand. I didn’t know what was going to happen next.
‘I turned and tried to put my hand on his hand, on the hammer, and he pushed me aside and whacked me on the head.’
If convicted, DePape faces life in prison. He has also pleaded not guilty to charges in state court of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, elder abuse, residential burglary and other felonies.
A state trial has not been scheduled.