Paul Pelosi’s alleged hammer attacker David DePape was formally charged with attempted murder in court in San Francisco Tuesday afternoon.
Hulking DePape, 42, wore a prison issue orange sweatshirt and sweat pants for the brief hearing and had his right arm strapped up in a sling – said to be the result of last Friday’s early morning struggle with Pelosi.
His shoulder length hair was visibly graying and appeared unkempt and greasy.
The 42-year-old spoke once during the 15-minute appearance in front of Judge Diane Northway – replying with a brisk ‘yep’ when she asked him if she had pronounced his name correctly.
DePape is facing six counts in total – which include residential burglary, false imprisonment of an elder and assault with a deadly weapon – and pleaded not guilty to all six via his lawyer, Public Defender Adam Lipson.
Despite facing a possible life sentence, he appeared impassive during the session, tipping his head to the side at one point to confer with Lipson.
A courtroom artist’s sketch of Paul DePape as he appeared in court on Tuesday afternoon
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi leaves the Pacific Heights home where her husband was attacked on Tuesday morning surrounded by members of her security detail
Public defender Adam Lipson said after the hearing that his office will be looking into DePape’s alleged ‘vulnerability to propaganda and extreme political views’
San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins spoke with the media after the hearing
The Canadian, who was slapped with federal attempted kidnapping charges on Monday, could be handed another 50 years if he is convicted of those crimes.
No member of the Pelosi family were in court but they said via their attorney that they had hoped to watch proceedings via a Zoom link.
In response, Judge Northway said there had not been enough time to prepare a remote link but said one will be provided during future hearings.
Paul Pelosi declined to give a statement to the court and issued a plea for privacy.
DePape has been locked up in the San Francisco County Jail since Monday and was booked in absentia after spending the weekend in the same hospital as his victim.
During the hearing, Judge Northway signed off on a protective order that bans DePape from going within 150ft of Paul and Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco home and contacting them in any way except via their attorneys.
He now faces a second court appearance on Friday to set dates for future hearings, although a provisional preliminary hearing has been scheduled for January 4.
After the hearing public defender Lipson said: ‘Given the high-profile nature of the parties involved, I want to acknowledge that there are a lot of rumors and speculation about this incident that will need to be sorted out in court once we review the evidence.
‘I would ask the public to keep that in mind and try not to pass judgment on a complicated situation.
‘There has also been a lot of discussion in the media about Mr. DePape’s vulnerability to propaganda and extreme political views. Our office will certainly be looking into those issues, but I’m unable to comment further on that because it’s so early in the process.
In a press conference on Monday, San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins explicitly referred to the attack as ‘politically motivated.’ Jenkins also stated her belief that DePape intended to murder Paul Pelosi.
Jenkins told the media: ‘What is clear based on the evidence that we have thus far is that this house, and the speaker herself, were specifically targets of the defendant.’
DePape lived in the garage of renowned photographer Malcolm Lubliner in Richmond, California. Lubliner removed DePape’s belongings following the arrest
Nancy was in Washington, DC at the time her husband was attacked. Here they are pictured outside the British Prime Minister’s residence, 10 Downing Street during a visit to London in 2021
He is accused of breaking into the Pelosi home and beating Paul Pelosi over the head with a hammer and intending to hold his House Speaker wife Nancy hostage and break her kneecaps.
Jenkins said Paul Pelosi was asleep in a loose-fitting pajama shirt and a pair of boxer shorts when he was awoken by DePape around 2:30 am.
At some point during the ordeal, Paul Pelosi attempted to escape into an elevator to call 911. When that avenue was closed off to him, he did manage to get to a bathroom where he was able to call the police.
DePape was listening in on the phone call, and knew police were going to arrive, according to FBI interrogators, but ‘explained that he did not leave after Pelosi’s call to 9-1-1 because, much like the American founding fathers with the British, he was fighting against tyranny without the option of surrender.’
Public defender Adam Lipton talks to the media after the hearing
According to the criminal complaint, the day after the attack, authorities traced DePape to a home on Shasta Road in Richmond, California, around 18 miles north of San Francisco.
The home belongs to renowned Bay Area photographer Malcolm Lubliner who served as DePape’s landlord. DePape lived at the address for two years.
Investigators said that inside of the home, they found additional hammers, a sword, and pairs of gloves.
Lubliner has been a fixture in the California arts scene since the 1960s and has had his work displayed at the San Francisco Museum of Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art as well as at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC.
He has photographed American icons such as Jasper Johns and Janis Joplin.
On Friday, DePape walked into a bedroom of the $6million San Francisco home just before 3am on Friday, woke Paul Pelosi up and said he would wait for his wife to get home.
He told investigators he wanted ‘kneecap her’ if she ‘lied’ to him so she would have to be ‘wheeled into Congress, showing other Members there were consequences to actions’.
The shocking new details were unveiled as DePape was slapped with federal charges including attempted kidnapping, and as a new Fox News report suggested he was in the U.S. illegally from Canada.
DePape, 42. is accused of breaking into Pelosi’s $6million home and attacking Paul Pelosi, 82, with a hammer as he shouted: ‘Where’s Nancy?’
Paul Pelosi Jr., son of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Paul Pelosi, walks outside his parent’s home in San Francisco, Saturday, one day after the attack
The suspect allegedly had zip ties with him when he broke into the couple’s San Francisco home – and was calling out ‘Where’s Nancy?’
DePape on Monday was charged with assault and attempted kidnapping by the Department of Justice.
Paul Pelosi, who was the only one home when DePape broke in, called the police who arrived two minutes later to find the 82-year-old and DePape struggling over a hammer, according to a Department of Justice press release.
Officers told the men to drop the hammer. DePape then gained control of it and swung at Pelosi’s head, before he was arrested as Pelosi lay unconscious on the ground, San Francisco FBI special agent Stephanie Minor wrote in a request for a federal criminal complaint and arrest warrant.
Pelosi had been asleep when DePape entered his bedroom and demanded to talk to ‘Nancy.’
‘Where’s Nancy?’ he asked.
Nancy Pelosi, who gets a security detail, was in Washington, D.C. at the time of the attack.
Pelosi told the intruder his wife was not there and would not be there for several days, and DePape said he would wait. Pelosi was somehow able to get into the bathroom while he called 911.
DePape told investigators he wanted to hold Nancy Pelosi captive and talk to her. He said that if the speaker told ‘the truth’ he would let her go, and if she ‘lied’ he would ‘break her kneecaps.’
‘She would then have to be wheeled into Congress, which would show other Members of Congress there were consequences to actions,’ he explained.
DePape also explained that he broke into the house through a glass door using the hammer.
Pelosi now remains in the intensive care unit recovering from a skull fracture surrounded by family members.
When cops arrived at the exclusive property, they saw DePape assaulting Pelosi with a hammer
Gypsy Taub (right, pictured with DePape in 2013) was accused of sending messages to a former friend of her son, telling the minor that she wanted to date him and trying to lure him to meet with her secretly
Following his attack on Pelosi, DePape has been accused by his daughter of sexually assaulting his three children when they were kids.
The nudist longtime ex-partner of DePape revealed in an interview from jail that he had been ‘mentally ill for a long time’ and had paranoid delusions.
Oxane ‘Gypsy’ Taub, 53, who was convicted in 2021 for trying to kidnap a 14-year-old boy, is also a longtime nudist activist. She says during her two decades with DePape she saw him transform following a disappearance of more than a year.
‘He came back in very bad shape. He thought he was Jesus. He was constantly paranoid, thinking people were after him,’ Taub told Bay area affiliate ABC 7 in a phone call from prison. ‘And it took a good year or two to get back to, you know, being halfway normal.’
‘He is mentally ill. He has been mentally ill for a long time,’ she said from the Californian Institution for Women in Corona, California, where she is serving time. The two previously lived together in Berkeley.
Taub says she first met DePape two decades ago when he had political views like her own, although the ‘hemp jewelry maker’s’ more recent postings have contain anti-Semitic themes and QAnon conspiracies as well as election fraud claims.
The complaint against David DePape said the manner in which the crime was committed ‘indicates planning, sophistication, or professionalism’ with the meaning of California law
‘Well when I met him, he was only 20 years old, and he didn’t have any experience in politics, and he was very much in alignment with my views and I’ve always been very progressive. I absolutely admire Nancy Pelosi,’ said Taub.
The couple raised two sons and a daughter, and split seven years ago, she said.
Taub described herself as the ‘ex-life partner of David DePape and the mother of his children.’
DePape was also found to have run the website frenlyfrens.com, where he discussed how he had an invisible fairy friend that sometimes appeared to him in the form of a bird and shared images of Hillary Clinton as a zombie.
During one post he even ranted about not being able to buy a fairy house with a working door.
Many of his posts were filled with tirades against Jewish people, black people, Democrats, the media and transgender people, under categories such as ‘Trannies,’ ‘Da Jewbs’ and ‘Great Reset.’
DePape created his blog just months before the attack, registering it in August.
His very first post on the now-deleted site was entitled Mary Poppins, amid Disney World’s dispute with Florida Gov Ron DeSantis over his so-called Don’t Say Gay bill.
It included a video depicting a SWAT team firing at the magical nanny.
In the months since, he filled the blog with hundreds of posts depicting anti-Semitic and dystopian images.
One such post featured the Devil kneeling and asking a caricature of a Jewish person to teach him the arts of ‘lying, deception cheating and incitement.’
Several others contained images of rotting human flesh and blood, including zombified versions of Bill Gates and Hillary Clinton as he promoted his far-right conspiracy theories.
By late August, DePape seemed to become engrossed in Twitter’s decision to ban Jordan Peterson for his posts about transgender people after the Canadian psychologist compared being transgender to ‘satanic ritual abuse.’
More recently, amid backlash to rapper Kanye West’s tweet declaring war on the Jewish people, DePape posted: ‘We are ALL the Jews’ slave race.
In just the past month alone, DePape had published hundreds of blog posts promoting far-right conspiracy theories before he allegedly broke into Pelosi’s home, the Boston Globe reports.
In recent weeks, after Kanye West faced backlash for a tweet declaring war on the Jews, DePape shared his own anti-Semitic views on his blog
DePape was also active on 4chan, positing memes and debating other anonymous users about his beliefs.
In an October 24 post on the website, DePape complained he was being targeted by law enforcement officials he described as ‘paid shills’ trying to manipulate the message board.
‘I would come in and lay out the facts, and so all the paid shills would jump on me,’ he wrote. ‘To try and suppress it.’
DePape would also share some photos from a construction site he worked at, one highlighting a jackhammer with the number 33 on it, an apparent reference to a conspiracy theory about Free Masons and world domination.
But other posts on his blog seemed to be more personal, offering a glance into his delusions.
DePape wrote in recent months how he was becoming suicidal as his relationship with Taub was falling apart.
‘I was extremely suicidal,’ he posted four days before the attack, writing in an apparent letter to Inti Gonzalez, who has identified DePape as her father: ‘Mentally I would beg you guys daily to let me kill myself.’