‘I know exactly what I did’: What Paul Pelosi’s suspected attacker told police during jailhouse interview
The man suspected of breaking into the home of Democratic congresswoman Nancy Pelosi provided San Francisco police with a detailed description of his plans to hold her hostage and how he used his “full force” to strike her 82-year-old husband with a hammer, which fractured his skull and left him unconscious in a pool of blood.
In a recorded interview, David DePape raged against “lies” in Washington DC, claimed the 2020 presidential election was stolen and compared Democratic campaigns against Donald Trump to the Watergate scandal.
He claimed Democratic officials, including Hillary Clinton and then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, were engaged in a “record-breaking crime spree” to keep Mr Trump out of office.
“When Trump came into office, what they did went so far beyond spying on a rival campaign. It is just crazy,” he said.
The recording was released on 27 January along with a police officer’s body-worn camera footage and home surveillance footage of the intruder bashing his way in, exposing publicly what has been detailed in court and in police filings over the last few months in the wake of the October attack on the 82-year-old Paul Pelosi.
“I’m not trying to get away with it. I know exactly what I did,” Mr DePape said during a nearly 18-minute clip from a police interview after his arrest on 28 October.
“It originates with Hillary, but Pelosi ran with the lie as much as or more than anyone,” he said. “Honestly, like, day in day out, the person who was on the TV lying every day was Pelosi.”
He said that “not only were they spying on a rival campaign, they were submitting fake evidence to spy on a rival campaign, covering it up, persecuting the rival campaign,” he said, clarifying that he was talking about the former president’s campaign.
“It’s just like the whole f****** four years until they were finally able to steal the election,” he added.
He told San Francisco Police Department Sgt Carla Hurley during the interview that he had planned to hold Ms Pelosi “hostage”.
“If she told the truth, I would let her go scott-free,” he said. “If she f***** lied, I was going to break her kneecaps.”
Asked how he got into the home, Mr DePape said “it was not easy”.
“I hit it really hard. It cracked enough to leave a mark, but not enough to break it,” he said of the glass door.
He said it was likely that home surveillance cameras and Ring cameras in the neighborhood had already discovered him – “I’m already busted” – so he continued to break into the home.
After repeatedly hitting the door, he said he “body slammed” his way inside.
He said he discovered Mr Pelosi asleep in his bed, where he told him that he was looking for Ms Pelosi.
He said that Mr Pelosi “was not his target”.
“He was like, ‘How can we resolve this?’ and I was like, ‘I don’t know,’” he said.
Mr DePape said he wanted to tie up Mr Pelosi and go to sleep while he waited for Ms Pelosi.
Mr Pelosi began dialing 911 from a nearby bathroom; audio of the call revealed his patient but frustrated call to an emergency operator as Mr DePape pressured him to hang up.
“I told him, ‘I have other targets. I can’t be stopped right now.’ If I have to go through him, I will,” Mr DePape said during his police interview.
The officer asked why Mr DePape didn’t try to leave once he knew that police would arrive; he said he intended to fight “tyranny” and refused to “surrender”.
“The founding fathers, they fought the British … When I left my house, I left to go fight tyranny. I did not leave to go surrender,” he said.
Mr DePape and Mr Pelosi, moments before police arrived, walked downstairs, where they struggled for control of the hammer that Mr DePape brought to the home, he said in his interview.
“I’m not going to surrender, I’m here for the fight. If you stop me for going after evil, you will take the punishment,” he said he told Mr Pelosi.
He said he hit Mr Pelosi with “full force”.
A judge in San Francisco Superior Court granted the release of the footage to media outlets this week after the footage was played in court during a preliminary hearing last month.
Mr DePape has pleaded not guilty to all state charges in the case, including attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and elder abuse. He also pleaded not guilty to federal charges of assaulting an immediate family member of a federal official and attempted kidnapping of a federal officer for the alleged home invasion.
The attack continues to be the subject of baseless conspiracy theories contradicted by footage and audio of the attack – which were described weeks earlier in court documents and in footage presented to the court – as well as Mr DePape’s own statements to police.