David DePape, the man accused of attacking Paul Pelosi, the husband of former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, with a hammer, offered an emotional apology in court on Tuesday. DePape also shared his beliefs about government corruption and conspiracy theories that led him to the Pelosi residence.
During his hour-long testimony in federal court in San Francisco, DePape tearfully discussed his transition from the political left to the right. He attributed this change to a comment he read on a YouTube video about former President Donald Trump. He expressed remorse for the attack and revealed his fear for Paul Pelosi’s life when he saw him on the ground.
Prosecutors have accused DePape of breaking into the Pelosi home on the evening of October 28, 2022, in search of Nancy Pelosi. Paul Pelosi testified on Monday that DePape repeatedly asked for the whereabouts of his wife. Paul described his shock and fear when DePape entered the room with a hammer and ties.
DePape claimed that his intention was to talk to Nancy Pelosi about Russian involvement in the 2016 election. He also revealed that he had planned to wear an inflatable unicorn costume and record the interaction for online upload. The situation escalated when Paul Pelosi called the police, and DePape struck him with a hammer upon their arrival.
During his testimony, DePape expressed remorse after learning the extent of Pelosi’s injuries, including skull fractures that required surgery, plates, and screws. DePape also mentioned his disrupted plan as a reason for hitting Pelosi but emphasized that Paul was never his intended target.
DePape explained that he became interested in conspiracy theories after learning about “Gamergate,” an online harassment campaign against women in the video gaming community. He admitted to spending hours playing video games while listening to political podcasts. DePape stated that he believed news outlets, particularly CNN, disseminated false information about former President Trump.
Although DePape mentioned targeting individuals like a women’s and queer studies professor, California Gov. Gavin Newsom, actor Tom Hanks, and Hunter Biden, he did not elaborate on these details in court. He cited conservative commentator James Lindsay as the source of his information regarding the professor.
The identity of the professor was not disclosed to the public for her safety due to threats made against her. She testified that her writings had been misrepresented to fit an anti-gay narrative but vehemently denied supporting child abuse.
After the attack on Paul Pelosi, the FBI informed the professor that she was DePape’s primary target. She reported this to university administrators, who took measures to protect her, her students, and other staff.
Witnesses in the trial included Daniel Bernal, Nancy Pelosi’s chief of staff, and Elizabeth Yates, a neighbor of DePape, who allowed him to shower at her home weekly.
Closing arguments are scheduled for Wednesday, and DePape faces the possibility of a life sentence if convicted.