Justice Department to announce federal charges for suspect in attack on Paul Pelosi

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WASHINGTONThe Justice Department will announce two federal charges Monday against the man accused of brutally attacking the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., two law enforcement officials told NBC News.

The FBI has been working with San Francisco police and the Capitol Police on the investigation into Friday’s attack on Paul Pelosi. It’s unclear what charges the DOJ will bring.

David DePape is expected to appear in court as early as Monday or Tuesday to face separate state charges. San Francisco police said DePape would be arraigned on charges of attempted homicide, first-degree burglary, assault with a deadly weapon, aggravated battery with serious bodily injury, elder abuse, threatening a public official, or family member, among others.

Paul Pelosi, 82, remained in the intensive care unit surrounded by family members, a source with knowledge of the situation told NBC News early Monday. The FBI, San Francisco police, Capitol Police and the district attorney got his testimony on Sunday, according to a source with knowledge of the investigation. The source said he is awake and has all of his cognitive functioning and appeared to remember everything — he told them his version of events.

On Friday, he “underwent successful surgery to repair a skull fracture and serious injuries to his right arm and hands,” Pelosi’s office said. His doctors expect him to make a full recovery.

Two sources briefed on the investigation said the suspect was searching for the House speaker, who was in Washington, D.C., at the time of the attack. Before the assault occurred, the intruder confronted Paul Pelosi shouting, “Where is Nancy, where is Nancy?”

San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott said officers arrived at the Pelosi home just before 2:30 a.m. PT and observed “Mr. Pelosi and the suspect both holding a hammer. The suspect pulled the hammer away from Mr. Pelosi and violently assaulted him with it.”

Police tackled the suspect, disarmed him and took him into custody, Scott said. San Francisco police said Sunday that zip ties were found at the scene.

According to a Pelosi family member, the suspect brought the hammer and broke the windows of the Pelosi home facing the backyard. The family member said once inside, the suspect was trying to tie up Paul Pelosi and said they would wait “until Nancy got home.” When the suspect wasn’t looking, Paul called 911. The family member said Paul was home alone and was hit in the head with the hammer multiple times. When the police arrived, the suspect said, “We are waiting for Nancy.”

The suspect appears to have operated a website on which he wrote a wide variety of posts touching on almost all manner of modern conspiracy thinking: aliens, Jewish people, communism, vaccines, voter fraud and many other topics. Two law enforcement officials said an early look at DePape’s online footprint showed recent blog posts that espoused ideas typically associated with far-right extremism along with some liberal anti-establishment ideas.



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