The man accused of attacking Nancy Pelosi’s husband with a hammer allegedly wanted to hold her hostage and “break her kneecaps”, according to prosecutors.
David DePape, 42, is accused of breaking into the couple’s San Francisco home early Friday, and telling Paul Pelosi, 82, that he wanted to talk to “Nancy” in the attack.
He has been charged with attempted kidnapping and assault with intent to retaliate against a federal official by threatening or injuring a family member.
The charges allege DePape told police he wanted to hold the US House Speaker hostage “to talk to her” and break her kneecaps if she “lied”.
“By breaking Nancy’s kneecaps, she would then have to be wheeled into Congress, which would show other members of Congress there were consequences to actions," state the Justice Department charges.
Police allegedly recovered zip ties in the Pelosis’ bedroom and found “among other things, a roll of tape, white rope, one hammer, one pair of rubber and cloth gloves, and a journal,” in the suspect’s backpack.
DePape also faces one count of attempted kidnapping of a United States official on account of the performance of official duties.
San Francisco’s district attorney set could also announce state criminal charges as well.
Mr Pelosi called police early Friday after an intruder broke into the rear door of the property and confronted him upstairs. Officers said they arrived to see the two men struggling over a hammer, with Mr Pelosi being struck at least once.
DePape was arrested Friday on suspicion of attempted murder, elder abuse and burglary.
Paul Pelosi remains hospitalised in San Francisco after undergoing surgery for a fractured skull and other injuries.
Speaker Pelosi was in Washington, DC, at the time of the attack.
San Francisco’s district attorney, Brooke Jenkins, strongly rejected conspiracy theories about the attack, saying prosecutors believed the assailant was targeting the Democratic leader when he broke into the couple’s home.
The district attorney’s remarks came as the attack on the husband of the House speaker was being mocked and dismissed in some circles.
Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr, was among those making light of the attack on Mr Pelosi, tweeting out a joke about a Halloween costume of the incident.