Update: At the time of publication, the assailant was unknown. According to CNN, the man who allegedly attacked Paul Pelosi asked where Nancy Pelosi was multiple times during the incident. He also reportedly had previously posted conspiracy theories about vaccines, the 2020 election and the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol on social media. NBC News reported that the man, identified by police as David DePape, will be charged with attempted homicide.
Paul Pelosi, husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, was attacked by an intruder early on Friday morning.
NPR reported that the intruder broke into the Pelosi home and “violently assaulted” Paul Pelosi, per a family spokesman. This attack raised security concerns about the safety of the Pelosi residence. Motivations behind the attack are currently unknown, according to the statement.
According to a statement from Drew Hammill, spokesperson for Speaker Pelosi, the assailant was taken into custody and an investigation is underway. Paul Pelosi, 82, was taken to a hospital and is expected to make a full recovery. At the time, Speaker Pelosi was not at home.
NBC News reported, “The House speaker was not in San Francisco at the time of the attack. ... U.S. Capitol Police said in a separate statement that Pelosi was in Washington, D.C., with her protective detail at the time of the break-in.”
While the motive behind the attack is unclear, federal agencies have warned about increased violence ahead of the midterm elections.
According to NBC News, “Lawmakers are disclosing threats and openly predicting violence; one even says that it has become too dangerous to hold public events and that she feels the need to shield her family from harm.”
Speaker Pelosi has received threats before. Three men have threatened to kill the speaker, and CNBC said that they had each been sentenced to time in prison for the threats on her life.
“The attack on Paul Pelosi comes as the U.S. Capitol Police record a drastic rise in threat cases — a 144% increase from 2017 to 2021, according to the department,” CNBC reported.