Attack on Nancy Pelosi’s husband follows years of GOP demonizing her

A man with right-wing views who broke into House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s California home home yelled “Where is Nancy?” before assaulting Paul Pelosi with a hammer, police say.

“Paul Pelosi was attacked at home by an assailant who acted with force, and threatened his life while demanding to see the Speaker,” said a statement from Congress. “Mr. Pelosi was admitted to Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital where he underwent successful surgery to repair a skull fracture and serious injuries to his right arm and hands.  His doctors expect a full recovery.”

The attack on Nancy Pelosi’s husband represents the all-but-inevitable result of Republicans’ increasingly violent rhetoric toward their political opponents — a phenomenon that escalated under former president Donald Trump.

Nancy Pelosi has been a top target of Republicans in campaign ads.

“Sadly this attack was inevitable. Political violence is on the rise,” said Rep. Eric Swalwell. On Friday afternoon, the Justice Department announced that a 22-year-old Pennsylvania man pleaded guilty to calling Swalwell’s office and, in conversations with his staff, threatening to kill him. The man told Swalwell’s aides that he had many AR-15 rifles and that he intended to come to the Capitol.

NeoNazi blogger Seth Keshel has called the Democrat Party the formal Army of Darkness,

“This heinous assault is yet another example of the dangerous consequences of the divisive and hateful rhetoric that is putting lives at risk and undermining our very democracy and Democratic institutions,” said Governor Gavin Newsom. “Those who are using their platforms to incite violence must be held to account.

“Our leaders should never fear for their safety and the safety of their families in serving the people they were elected to represent – not in their homes, not at the U.S. Capitol, not anywhere,” said Newsom.

The man accused of breaking into Pelosi’s home and severely beating her husband with a hammer appears to have made racist and often rambling posts online, including some that questioned the results of the 2020 election, defended former President Donald Trump and echoed QAnon conspiracy theories.

David DePape, 42, grew up in Powell River, British Columbia, before leaving about 20 years ago to follow an older girlfriend to San Francisco. A street address listed for DePape in the Bay Area college town of Berkeley led to a post office box at a UPS Store.

DePape was arrested at the Pelosi home according to San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins, who expected to file multiple felony charges, including attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, burglary and elder abuse.

Police arrested 42-year-old David Depape, who attacked Paul Pelosi, 82, and San Francisco Police Chief William Scott said authorities plan to charge him with attempted murder and other crimes.

Paul Pelosi was taken to a hospital and is expected to make a full recovery, the speaker’s office said.

Trump prided himself on his inflammatory oratory and he refused to denounce white nationalists and others spewing hate speech.

A voluminous blog attributed to Depape was filled with deeply racist and antisemitic writings — as well as pro-Trump and anti-Democratic posts — belonged to the suspect. In a single day earlier this month, the blog had seven new posts.

The titles included: “Balcks Nda jEwS,” “Were the Germans so Stupid?” “Who FINANCED Hitler’s rise to Power” and “Gas chamber doors.”

In 2010, Republicans launched a “Fire Pelosi” project — complete with a bus tour, a #FIREPELOSI hashtag and images of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) engulfed in Hades-style flames — devoted to retaking the House and demoting Pelosi from her perch as speaker.

Eleven years later, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) joked that if he becomes the next leader of the House, “it will be hard not to hit” Pelosi with the speaker’s gavel.

And this year, Pelosi — who Republicans have long demonized as the face of progressive policies and who was a target of rioters during the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol — emerged as the top member of Congress maligned in political ads, with Republicans spending nearly $40 million on ads that mention Pelosi in the final stretch of the campaign, according to AdImpact, which tracks television and digital ad spending.

The years of vilification culminated Friday when Pelosi’s husband, Paul, was attacked with a hammer during an early-morning break-in at the couple’s home in San Francisco by a man searching for the speaker and shouting “Where is Nancy? Where is Nancy?” according to someone briefed on the assault.

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