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Paul Pelosi attack: Court hears DePape was on ‘suicide mission’ as Megyn Kelly raises conspiracies

Oliver O'Connell,Rachel Sharp,Johanna Chisholm
Wednesday 02 November 2022 07:35 GMT
Assailant breaks into Nancy Pelosi’s home, attacks husband Paul Pelosi

David DePape, the man accused of beating House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband Paul with a hammer during a struggle in the couple’s San Francisco home, pleaded not guilty in his first court appearance on Tuesday.

In court documents, prosecutors described Mr DePape as embarking on a “suicide mission” targeting the Pelosis, as well as other state and federal officials.

The 42-year-old could face as many as 50 years in prison if found guilty on state and federal charges.

Police body camera footage of the attack could be shown during the trial, police told The Independent.

Elsewhere, Sen Ted Cruz was called out by critics for propping up conspiracy theories about the violent assault on the House Speaker’s husband.

Brooke Jenkins said that her office will charge the suspect with attempted murder, residential burglary, assault with a deadly weapon, elder abuse, false imprisonment of an elder, and threats to a public official and their family.

It came hours after it was announced that the suspect is facing two federal charges for threatening violence against a US official’s spouse.


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Jon Sharman2 November 2022 07:35

Pelosi attacker suspect carried zip ties, report says

The man accused of attacking House speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband carried zip ties with him when he broke into the couple’s San Francisco home, according to a person briefed on the investigation.

The attack on the Democratic leader’s 82-year-old husband Paul Pelosi, less than two weeks before the 8 November election that will determine who will control the US Congress, has served as a jarring reminder of the nation’s toxic political climate.

Police said the suspect, identified as David DePape, 42, confronted Paul Pelosi in the family’s Pacific Heights home early Friday and demanded to know, “Where is Nancy?”

The two men struggled over a hammer before officers responding to a 911 call to the home saw the suspect strike Paul Pelosi at least once, police said.

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar31 October 2022 12:00

David DePape had a list of other potential targets, law enforcement confirmed

David DePape, the suspect involved in the attack on Nancy Pelosi’s husband, reportedly had a list of other people he wanted to target in addition to the House Speaker, law enforcement confirmed to CBS News.

The sources told the news outlet that they wouldn’t go as far to characterise the list as a “hit list” but said that they suspect the 42-year-old might have been planning more attacks on other people.

The sources briefed on the investigation did not reveal the identities of the other people included on the list.

Johanna Chisholm31 October 2022 12:35

Elon Musk shares lurid conspiracy theory about Paul Pelosi attack in response to Hillary Clinton

Elon Musk shared a lurid, baseless conspiracy theory on Twitter about what transpired the night of the violent hammer attack on Paul Pelosi – just days after he took over the social media platform on the promise of stripping away content moderation.

On Saturday, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hit out at members of the GOP for spreading “hate and deranged conspiracy theories” after it emerged that Mr Pelosi’s alleged attacker had been spewing far-right conspiracies online in the lead-up to Friday’s assault.

Mr Musk, who completed his takeover of the social media platform on Thursday, responded to Ms Clinton on Sunday by pushing a conspiracy theory to his 112m followers that the attack that left the 82-year-old hospitalised with serious injuries was not what it seemed.

“There is a tiny possibility there might be more to this story than meets the eye,” he wrote.

The Twitter and Tesla boss gave no explanation for his comments, simply sharing a link to an article that claimed – without any evidence – that Mr Pelosi was drunk and met his alleged attacker in a gay bar.

But, by early afternoon on Sunday, Mr Musk appeared to have had a change of heart and had taken the tweet down.

The Independent’s Rachel Sharp has the full story:

Elon Musk shares lurid conspiracy theory about Paul Pelosi hammer attack

Billionaire peddled the conspiracy theory on Twitter just days after he completed his takeover of the social media platform – before deleting the post hours later

Johanna Chisholm31 October 2022 13:00

Republicans respond to Paul Pelosi attack with mockery and sincerity

A wide range of GOP reactions to the violent assault of Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband in their home is showing the deep fractures that remain throughout the Republican Party.

Adding to the issue’s complexity is new reporting suggesting that the suspect involved in the attack was a follower of right-wing conspiracy theories, leading many who spread and embrace similar fantasies to reject the incident as a hoax or “false flag” event.

In Washington, congressional leaders responded with the typical shock and outrage that you’d expect members of the House and Senate to show after a violent attack that clearly targeted one of their own.

“Horrified and disgusted by the reports that Paul Pelosi was assaulted in his and Speaker Pelosi’s home last night,” wrote Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Friday. “Grateful to hear that Paul is on track to make a full recovery and that law enforcement including our stellar Capitol Police are on the case.”

The Independent’s John Bowden has the full story:

Republican response to Paul Pelosi attack shows party divisions

Respectful reactions from GOP congressional leaders contrast with ugly mockery from right-wingers

Johanna Chisholm31 October 2022 13:30

Donald Trump Jr condemned for ‘sick and dangerous’ post mocking Paul Pelosi’s hammer attack

Donald Trump Jr was celebrated by the far right, and condemned everywhere else, for sharing a meme that made light of the attack on Nancy Pelosi’s husband.

The self-described “general in meme wars” shared the controversial post to his personal Instagram account on Sunday night, just two days after Paul Pelosi, 82, was forced to undergo surgery after being attacked at the couple’s San Francisco home by a hammer-wielding intruder.

“One of the most vile things is people like Donald Trump Jr now mocking 82 year old Paul Pelosi after being beaten with a hammer by a MAGA terrorist,” tweeted Dean Obeidallah, an American lawyer and host of radio show The Dean Obeidallah Show.

Continue reading more about Mr Trump Jr’s viral meme in The Independent’s report here.

Donald Trump Jr mocks Paul Pelosi’s attack by sharing Halloween costume meme

The former president’s son was widely celebrated by his alt-right fans and quickly panned by his critics

Johanna Chisholm31 October 2022 14:00

Paul Pelosi attack suspect David DePape’s ex-partner apologises and says he was ‘mentally ill for a long time’

David DePape, the man suspected of attacking Nancy Pelosi’s husband, was “mentally ill for a long time” before the assault, his former partner claimed.

“He is mentally ill. He has been mentally ill for a long time,” said Gypsy Taub, who called the news station from the California Institution for Women in Corona, California on Friday evening.

The woman, who claimed to be the ex-life partner of Mr DePape and the mother of his children, is a well-known nudist activist in San Francisco the news outlet reported.

The pair met 20 years ago and raised their two sons and Taub’s daughter before they officially parted ways seven years ago, she said.

Read the full details of the interview with The Independent below.

Paul Pelosi attack suspect David DePape’s ex-partner says he was ‘mentally ill’

Gypsy Taub, the alleged ex-partner of David DePape, described how the 42-year-old once disappeared for a year and when he returned he wasn’t the same person

Johanna Chisholm31 October 2022 14:30

Democratic congressmember says Pelosi attack highlights ‘threat of political violence being stoked by conspiracy theories'

Democratic Congressmember Ro Khanna said that the attack on Paul Pelosi highlights “the threat of political violence that is being stoked by conspiracy theories and propaganda and hate speech.”

While being interviewed by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now the California lawmaker discussed the dangers facing his colleagues in Washington, particularly ahead of the 8 November midterms.

It seems “that this was targeted to the Pelosis,” he began. “What we need to be responding to is the threat of political violence that is being stoked by conspiracy theories and propaganda and hate speech on social media and in our democracy.”

Watch the full clip below.

Johanna Chisholm31 October 2022 15:05

Don Jr continues posting ‘dangerous’, ‘homophobic’ memes mocking Paul Pelosi’s hammer attack

Donald Trump Jr took to Instagram and Twitter first thing Monday morning to continue deriding Paul Pelosi’s attack by sharing several memes that critics decried as “dangerous” and “homophobic”.

In one of the more recent posts shared by the former president’s son, he shared an altered South Park screenshot that showed two men having a sexual relationship with a hammer beside the bed, with one of the men saying in a word bubble: “Ah yes, officer, I’m being attacked”.

“Dear fact checkers this has nothing at all to do with anything going on in the news and simply posting a cartoon of what appears to be an altered South Park scene,” Trump Jr wrote in the caption.

Online, critics were quick to decry his various memes that made fun of the attack on Mr Pelosi as both “dangerous” and “homophobic”.

“How long have you been homophobic?” responded one Twitter user to his post, while another pointedly called the posts “dangerous”.

“Hey @GOPChairwoman & @GOP, tell us again how your party never pushes hateful or dangerous rhetoric. Divisive, violent people,” tweeted another observer while sharing a link to an article about Mr Trump Jr sharing a meme about a Halloween costume mocking the attack.

Get the latest details here.

Johanna Chisholm31 October 2022 15:45

Fox News defends Elon Musk conspiracy tweet

Fox & Friends hosts addressed Elon Musk’s tweet, which was later deleted by the new owner of Twitter, where he appeared to support an unsubstantiated conspiracy theory about the attack on Nancy Pelosi‘s husband Paul last week.

Host Ainsley Earhardt defended the Tesla founder’s tweet as “free speech” Mediaite first reported, while Steve Doocy introduced the story by saying how, “Elon Musk has got people on the political left with their heads exploding”.

“He took down the tweet. San Francisco cops came out and said it was clearly a break-in.”

“But the people on the left and the New York Times this morning are saying ‘Hey, the guy in charge of Twitter is spreading disinformation,’” he added, before posing the question to Ms Earhardt: “What will the future of Twitter look like, Ainsley?”

“Well, all these celebrities and all of us should encourage free speech,” she replied, before pivoting to make the story about “Big Tech” and censorship.

“And we shouldn’t encourage censorship and control as long as it doesn’t lead to violence.”

Johanna Chisholm31 October 2022 16:07

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