The accused, a 42-year-old man named David DePape is deeply involved in far-right politics and conspiracies. He shared films made by MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell on his Facebook page in which he claimed Trump had been cheated out of the 2020 election.
His favorite far-right media sources included Glenn Beck and the Epoch Times among others. DePape regularly discussed the QAnon conspiracy, which holds that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats are a part of a Satanic cabal involved in the sex trafficking of children, on his personal site.
DePape is accused of breaking into Pelosi’s San Francisco home early on Friday and demanding to see her. “Nancy whereabouts? Nancy whereabouts? “The cops claim that he yelled. Pelosi was in Washington, DC, thousands of miles away. Paul Pelosi, though, was already at home. After Mr. Pelosi called 911 from the restroom, police, who were called to the location, said they saw DePape savagely beating Mr. Pelosi with a hammer. Mr. Pelosi had severe injuries to his right arm and hand in addition to a skull fracture. It was a “life-threatening attack,” according to Speaker Pelosi, and he was sent to the hospital for surgery. As he heals from his wounds, he stays in the hospital. The Speaker of the House was the target of a very serious assassination attempt. The most senior Republican in the House, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, did not comment. McCarthy remained silent about the attack for almost 48 hours. Instead, he ran fresh attack commercials that kept trashing Pelosi.
McCarthy is in charge of the main Super PAC working to elect Republicans to the House, the Congressional Leadership Fund. Days after the attempted murder, on October 29 and 30, the PAC published dozens of new internet ads accusing Pelosi of “destroying our country.” The explosive assertion that Pelosi offered “stimulus cheques to criminals” is made in certain advertisements.
The advertisements make no note of the fact that McCarthy and many other Republicans supported various stimulus checks that did not exempt convicts. The money typically go to family members, including kids, who are not in jail or prison.
Some of the conspiracy ideas that DePape adopted have been repeated by McCarthy. McCarthy voted to invalidate the election results on January 6, 2021. McCarthy “was questioned five times whether President Biden’s victory in the 2020 election was legal” in June 2022. McCarthy consistently opted not to respond.
McCarthy has also used aggressive language to criticize Pelosi. “You should see Nancy Pelosi handing me the gavel. It’ll be difficult not to strike her with it, “McCarthy made the statement in August 2021 when speculating on what may occur if Republicans were to retake control of the House.
Late on Saturday, McCarthy referred to the attack on Mr. Pelosi as “wrong” in an interview with a right-wing radio host. McCarthy, however, also claimed that the incident was caused by the “defunding of police,” which is untrue.
In a statement, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) expressed his “horror and revulsion” at the attack on Pelosi’s husband. But following the assault, McConnell, like McCarthy, ran fresh advertisements specifically aimed at Pelosi. McConnell-controlled non-profit One Nation, which ran the advertisements, also demonizes Pelosi for backing stimulus payments to criminals. (McConnell, like McCarthy, favored numerous iterations of checks similar to this.)
Individual Republicans running for office followed McCarthy and McConnell’s example. Mara Elvira Salazar, a congresswoman from Florida who is running an advertisement criticizing Pelosi’s “socialist agenda,” promises that Pelosi would only prevail “over my dead body.” Elise Stefanik, a Republican from New York, states in an advertisement that Pelosi is attempting to “CRUSH hard-working Americans, like YOU” and “only cares about pushing the RADICAL leftist agenda.” Randy Weber, a congressman from Texas, keeps spending money on advertisements urging people to “bring Nancy Pelosi home”—the site where her husband was just brutally beaten with a hammer.
Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin was equally heartless at a rally for a Republican Congressional candidate. Violence has no place anywhere, but Youngkin decided to send the woman back to California to be with her boyfriend.
Republicans have targeted Pelosi in nearly $37 million worth of TV commercials since September 5. For Republicans who have demonized Pelosi for years, the attempted assassination of Pelosi might have served as an opportunity for introspection. The response has instead been to carry on with business as usual.
Trump has not only refrained from criticizing QAnon, the DePape-embraced theory, but also commended it for having “extremely strong anti-pedophilia views.” Additionally, Trump has praised tweets and other communications from QAnon backers. The “anthem for QAnon” has been played at Trump rallies this fall. Trump has also relentlessly propagated the myth that the 2020 presidential election was rigged for almost two years.
These conspiracies have been accompanied by Trump with severe criticism of Pelosi, whom he frequently likens to an insect and refers to as being “crazy as a bedbug.”
Trump has discussed “midterm election rallies, elections in Brazil, the Mar-a-Lago lawsuit involving secret information, and the passing of musician Jerry Lee Lewis” since the attack. Trump, meanwhile, has made no comments regarding the attack on Nancy Pelosi’s husband.
The purported assassination attempt comes after more than ten years of relentless personal attacks on Pelosi. Republicans started a campaign in 2010 called “Fire Pelosi” that included pictures of Pelosi immersed in Hades-style flames. The situation then got worse.
Majorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), shortly before declaring her candidacy for Congress in 2018 and 2019, “expressed sympathy for executing prominent Democrats,” including Pelosi. Pelosi is “a traitor to our country, she’s guilty of treason,” according to Greene in a speech from January 2019. He said that treason is “a crime punishable by death.” The following month, Greene claimed that Pelosi will “suffer death or she’ll be in prison” for her “treason” in a Facebook video.
Federal prosecutors claim that many of the rioters on January 6 were “As they approached the Capitol, they shouted that they were “coming for” Pelosi and looked around for her while attempting to sneak past security into the House chamber.
“A woman reportedly asked that Pelosi be brought out by the police so that the mob could “hang that f—-ing bitch.”
On January 6, a guy from North Carolina “carried firearms and ammo to Washington, D.C. He contacted a family member the next day to say that he was considering attending Pelosi’s speech “and putting a bullet in her noggin on Live TV.
We were seeking for Nancy to shoot her in the freakin’ brain but we didn’t find her, another woman acknowledged to making a selfie-style video in which she made the statement.”
Ronna McDaniel, chair of the Republican National Committee, claimed it was “wrong” to associate the attack on Pelosi’s home with Republican rhetoric during a Fox News Sunday appearance. She claimed that DePape was merely a “deranged person.” McDaniel avoided addressing the reality that DePape was an insane man who believed in conspiracies backed by Trump and other prominent Republicans. She chose to attribute the attack to “Democratic policies.”