Criminal defense attorney and regular Fox News guest Brian Claypool was left utterly humiliated on Friday when he suggested there was no evidence that Paul Pelosi’s attacker broke into his home—all despite the release of a security video showing exactly that.
In fact, Fox News anchors had to air the actual footage of the break-in for Claypool, who had just appeared on the network the night before to discuss the impending release of the tapes.
Debunking a slew of right-wing conspiracies about the brutal attack on former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Friday’s release of the 911 call, police body-cam video, and security footage showed alleged attacker David DePape violently swinging a large hammer to bust through a door before entering the home through a broken window.
The emergency call, meanwhile, featured an initially calm Pelosi telling a dispatcher that DePape came into his home to “wait here for my wife,” adding that he doesn’t know the intruder. When DePape claims he’s a family friend, Pelosi says that is untrue before rushing off the call because DePape was telling him to get “the hell off the phone.”
And then the chilling body-cam footage captured Pelosi and DePape answering the front door together when cops arrive at the home. With Pelosi grasping his assailant’s hammer, the officers asked the intruder to drop the weapon, only for DePape to say “nope” and then brutally attack Pelosi with it.
Hours after the release of the videos and call, Claypool appeared on Fox News’ America Reports to provide analysis. “This investigation has been about transparency, and one big takeaway I have from this that’s troubling... the Department of Justice came out and said the police officers opened the door; it’s in the report,” Claypool told anchor John Roberts. “We just saw the footage. The police officers did not open the door. The door was opened by Paul Pelosi. That to me is really a critical fact.”
Fox News, for its part, has latched onto these slight discrepancies to justify “questions” and doubts about the attack as a whole, feeding into larger conspiratorial narratives. Even after all the footage was made public, some Fox hosts defended conspiracies “that many of us have” about the attack because “California is a Democratic state.”
Noting that Mr. Pelosi had a “drink in his hand” when he opened the door for the police, Claypool wondered why Pelosi didn’t “run out the front door” when the cops arrived. Additionally, he said, Pelosi “didn’t sound like he was really fearing for his life” on the 911 call.
“Did Paul Pelosi know this guy? Because it is a bit weird,” he declared, invoking conspiracies that Pelosi and his alleged attacker were acquaintances (and perhaps lovers).
Pointing out that Pelosi was potentially trying to “keep the attacker calm,” both Roberts and co-anchor John Roberts pushed back on Claypool’s remarks. Noting that Pelosi seemed to be “trying to convey he was in distress” on the call, Smith then brought up the footage of DePape busting into the house.
“The other issue is, where is the evidence of a breaking and entering? I get what you are saying about casing the area,” Claypool responded.
“There's video of him breaking into the house,” Smith interrupted.
After an awkward pause, the frequent Fox guest uttered: “I haven’t seen video of him breaking into the house.”
The Fox News anchor explained to Claypool that they were airing “clear video” on the screen “right now” of DePape “breaking through the house.” Joining in, Roberts added that the suspect was “clearly” using the hammer to bust windows and enter the home.
“Maybe that’s true, maybe I’m wrong,” a clearly embarrassed Claypool reacted, pivoting back to his concerns about the DOJ’s “transparency” throughout the entire process.
“Are we supposed to just give a hall pass on such an important fact that to me I think—I think there was a clear narrative that the DOJ wanted to propagate in this, and we have been going through this with other occasions,” he stammered before, yes, bringing up Hunter Biden.
“I think, to me, that’s the biggest takeaway,” he concluded.