A 911 call, security footage, and dramatic body-cam video capturing the infamous hammer attack on Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s husband Paul Pelosi were finally made public Friday, disproving a slew of ridiculous right-wing conspiracy theories that abounded after the attack in October.
Newly released security footage showed alleged attacker David DePape arriving at a back door to the Pelosis’ San Francisco home at around 5:09 a.m., putting on gloves, swinging a hammer at a door for about a minute, then stepping through a broken window.
The clip, which has no sound, discredited unfounded claims parroted by conspiracists, including former President Donald Trump, in the wake of the violent break-in that the door’s window was broken from the inside.
“The glass, it seems, was broken from the inside to the out and, you know, so, it wasn’t a break in, it was a break out,” Trump said in November. “The window was broken in and it was strange the cops were standing there practically from the moment it all took place.”
Another popular conservative conspiracy—that DePape and Pelosi not only knew each other but were friends—was debunked in a 911 recording released Friday.
In Mr. Pelosi’s 911 call, he can be heard saying, “There’s a gentleman here waiting for my wife to come back, Nancy Pelosi. He’s just waiting for her to come back but she won't be here for days, so I guess I have to wait.”
Mr. Pelosi appears calm on the call initially, telling a 911 operator he “doesn’t think” he needs police, fire, or medical assistance. Moments later, he asks if any Capitol police officers are available to assist him.
“I’ve got a problem but he thinks everything’s good,” Mr. Pelosi said, apparently referencing DePape. The operator tries to get off the phone, but he responds, “No, no, no, this gentleman just came into the house and wants to wait here for my wife to come home.”
Mr. Pelosi says he doesn’t know who the intruder is, but claims the man is telling him to put the phone down and “not do anything.”
Warning: the 911 audio below contains descriptions preceding a violent attack.
Before the call cuts off, a second man’s voice is heard telling the operator that he’s a family friend named David. Mr. Pelosi insists this isn’t true and that he doesn’t know him, but rushes off the call because he says he’s being told to get “the hell off the phone.”
“How did Pelosi know his attacker’s name?” D'Souza wrote in a tweet, now provably false. “He told the police the assailant’s name was ‘David.’ He also said David was his ‘friend.’ This is on the police recording and you can listen to it yourself. So how do you explain these two telling facts?”
Also included in Friday’s release was a horrifying body-cam clip filmed by an officer who first responded to the Pelosis’ home.
Warning: the footage below is graphic.
The body-cam captured the officer arriving at the scene and calmly asking DePape what’s going on, to which he responded, “Everything’s good.” The officer asked DePape to drop a hammer he and Mr. Pelosi were both holding, but DePape replied, “Uh, nope.”
Things turned violent almost immediately after, with DePape pulling the hammer from Mr. Pelosi’s grasp and striking him. The officer quickly tackled DePape as Mr. Pelosi can be seen lying unconscious on the ground.
“Give me your fucking hand,” an officer is heard yelling while trying to put DePape in handcuffs.
Once in custody, a jailhouse interview gave a glimpse into the seemingly troubled mind of DePape. He told detectives he planned to hold Rep. Pelosi hostage because he was enraged about “the lies” she’d said about Trump.
“It originates with Hillary, but like Pelosi ran with the lie as much as or more than anyone,” DePape said. “Honestly, like, day in day out, the person who was on the TV lying everyday was Pelosi.”
DePape sounded deranged, equating his attack to the work of American revolutionaries in the 18th century.
“Well, it’s like, you know, the founding fathers. It’s like they fought the British, they fought the tyranny, they didn’t just fucking surrender to it,” DePape said. “And when I left my house, I left to go fight tyranny. I did not leave to go surrender.”
The interrogation also revealed DePape’s plans for Rep. Pelosi if she were home. He said he planned to force her to acknowledge his bizarre claims or else he’d get violent.
“If she told the truth, I would let her go scot-free,” DePape said. “If she fucking lied, I was going to break her calves.”
The release of footage and audio came after media organizations argued in court that the recordings should be available to the public—an argument Judge Stephen Murphy of the San Francisco Superior Court sided with Wednesday.
Both prosecutors and Adam Lipson, the attorney representing DePape, argued against the release, citing fears the footage would propagate conspiracy theories or affect DePape’s chances of a fair trial.
Cops say the Oct. 28 attack on Mr. Pelosi, 82, was carried out by DePape, a hemp jewelry maker-turned-carpenter and COVID conspiracist who is nearly half Mr. Pelosi’s age.
Local prosecutors alleged in prior court filings that DePape snuck into the Pelosis’ house just after 2:30 a.m. and confronted Mr. Pelosi in his bedroom, demanding: “Where’s Nancy? Where’s Nancy?” He then threatened to tie up Mr. Pelosi after he tried to escape by elevator, telling him, “I can take you out,” the filing said.
As news of the attack spread, unfounded conspiracies about what happened ran rampant, including wild speculation that the attack was a set-up based on the suspect’s mix of right-wing and left-wing views.
On a personal blog uncovered by The Daily Beast, DePape, who once lived with a famous Bay Area nude activist and battled drug issues, shared a series of extreme right-wing opinions and parroted QAnon conspiracy talking points.
Conspiracist Jim Hoft’s junk news site, The Gateway Pundit, claimed in since-deleted stories that DePape and Mr. Pelosi were lovers who got into a fight, a nonsensical theory also shared in a since-deleted tweet by Elon Musk just days after he took over Twitter.
Pelosi’s injuries required surgery “to repair a skull fracture and serious injuries to his right arm and hands,” Nancy Pelosi’s spokesman Drew Hammill said in November. Pelosi told CNN last week that her husband is “doing OK,” but it would still “take a little while for him to be back to normal.”
DePape has pleaded not guilty to six charges brought by the San Francisco District Attorney’s office, including attempted murder, and he faces a parallel proceeding in federal court. He faces life in prison if convicted of all charges.