San Francisco, CA — The man accused of breaking into Nancy Pelosi’s home last year unexpectedly took the stand in his own defense on Tuesday, providing rambling explanations for the hammer attack on her husband. Despite pleading not guilty to attempted kidnapping and assault charges, David DePape admitted to breaking into the Pelosi home but claimed he never intended to harm either Nancy or Paul Pelosi. DePape testified that he regrets the attack because he and Paul had “a good rapport.”
DePape’s defense team acknowledged his break-in at the Pelosi residence in Pacific Heights on October 28, 2022, and the subsequent assault on Paul Pelosi. However, they argued that DePape had no intention of causing harm. After breaking into the home and waking Paul, DePape claimed to have felt comfortable around him, testifying, “We kinda had a good rapport going. He was an amiable gentleman. We had a good rapport going, and I kinda trusted him.”
During questioning, DePape revealed that his alleged plans involved using Nancy and Paul Pelosi to lure another individual labeled “Target 1” by the government. This person was identified as Bay Area scholar and University of Michigan professor Gayle Rubin, known for her work in feminist theory and queer studies.
DePape went on to express a litany of grievances that supposedly led to the night he broke into the Pelosi residence. He claimed to have spent six hours a day watching political commentary on YouTube before his arrest and contended that “everything was a lie coming from the press.”
The jury showed no reaction to DePape’s emotional testimony, which included profanity, tears, and moments of prayer. Following a courtroom break, the judge asked a marshal to sit near DePape out of concern that he might act erratically.
Under cross-examination, Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura Vartain Horn pressed DePape on his awareness that breaking into Pelosi’s home could lead to violence. Although DePape acknowledged the possibility, he refused to admit he planned to hold Nancy Pelosi hostage, characterizing it as a mischaracterization.
The trial will continue with additional witnesses and evidence. The jury will weigh the testimony and evidence to determine DePape’s guilt or innocence on the charges.