David DePape, the right-wing conspiracy theorist who broke into Sen. Nancy Pelosi's house and attacked her husband with a hammer, was today found guilty of attempting to kidnap her and assaulting him.
The harrowing October 2022 attack sent shockwaves through Washington at a time of rising threats against public officials, raising fresh concern over violence driven by increasingly hostile political rhetoric and partisan animosity. Congressional lawmakers reflected at the time on their safety as fears of political violence remained heightened in the wake of the January 6, 2021, US Capitol attack and other incidents targeting members of Congress in recent years. Then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ultimately factored the attack into her decision to step down from her leadership post.
DePape's defense admitted everything and sought to portray him as a hapless and misled victim of far-right rhetoric, radicalized by Gamergate and drowned by the Trump era of politics. Jurors were not impressed by his tears on the stand, convicting him after eight hours of deliberation.
The case was notable not least for fabricated claims on the political right, including from figures such as Elon Musk, that the attack was a homosexual encounter between DePape and Mr. Pelosi gone awry.