A suspect has been identified in the brutal attack on Nancy Pelosi's husband at their San Francisco home.
An assailant identified as David Depape broke into the couple's home early Friday morning and "violently assaulted" the 82-year-old Paul Pelosi with a hammer, causing blunt-force trauma to his head and body, and the House speaker's husband reportedly underwent brain surgery.
The 42-year-old Depape, of Berkeley, has previously made news for taking part in nude anti-war protests in the Castro neighborhood.
The attacker tried to tie up Pelosi until his wife returned home and was asking "where is Nancy," and he allegedly told police he was waiting for the House speaker when they arrived.
“The suspect pulled the hammer away from Mr. Pelosi and violently assaulted him with it,” San Francisco Police Chief William Scott said during a press conference. “Our officers immediately tackled the suspect, disarmed him, took him into custody, requested emergency backup and rendered medical aid.”
Depape will be charged with attempted homicide, assault with a deadly weapon, elder abuse, burglary and other additional felonies.
Depape expressed extremist right-wing views on social media, including conspiracy theories about Covid-19, a law enforcement official told the Wall Street Journal.
A CNN analysis of his Facebook page also found meme and conspiracy theories he posted about the 2020 election and Jan. 6 insurrection, and two of his relatives said Depape was estranged from his family.
Nancy Pelosi was in Washington, D.C., at the time of the attack with her protective security detail.
The White House said President Joe Biden had called Nancy Pelosi to express his support over the "horrible attack" and was praying for her husband.
"He is... very glad that a full recovery is expected. The president continues to condemn all violence, and asks that the family's desire for privacy be respected," White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement.
The attack comes during a tumultuous year for Pelosi's 82-year-old venture capitalist husband, who was convicted of drunk driving after an accident in May and sentenced to five days in jail.
With less than two weeks to go before the crucial US midterm elections, members of both parties have sounded the alarm about the possibility of political violence.
According to the Capitol Police, threats against lawmakers have more than doubled since 2017.
With additional reporting by AFP