Paul Pelosi, the husband of former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, is expected to take the stand next week to recount the night he was attacked at the San Francisco home he shares with his wife.
A federal trial for the attacker, David DePape, began with opening statements Thursday, about a year after Paul Pelosi was brutally beaten with a hammer until police intervened. The intruder made his politically driven intentions clear, reportedly demanding to know, “Where’s Nancy?”
But the Democratic leader, who was in Washington at the time, was allegedly not his only target.
Prosecutors said evidence will show that DePape planned to go after multiple Democratic officials, Politico reported from the courthouse.
DePape’s defense attorney, Jodi Linker, said that those officials included Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Linker said she would not dispute that her client attacked Pelosi but would show that he honestly believed scores of conspiracy theories that led him to think he was fighting child abuse and corruption, according to The Washington Post.
Other alleged targets included actor Tom Hanks and California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D).
Linker began with a series of shocking statements outlining DePape’s alleged beliefs, reportedly noting that “many of us do not believe any of that.”
“But the evidence in this trial will show that Mr. DePape believes all these things ... with every ounce of his being,” she said, according to the Chronicle.
She also noted that although the assault was “awful,” she would show the jury that DePape was not trying to prevent the former speaker from carrying out her official duties, according to Politico.
DePape has pleaded not guilty to charges of assault and kidnapping.
He supposedly told police last year that he was on a “suicide mission,” according to court documents. In January, he called into a radio show with a bizarre message ― “I’m sorry I couldn’t get more of them” ― in a clip that was reportedly played for the jury during opening statements.
Paul Pelosi suffered injuries to his head, arm and hand, requiring hospitalization for several days. Nancy Pelosi disclosed earlier this year that it was going to “take a little while for him to be back to normal.”