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David DePape, suspect in Pelosi attack, in US illegally, ICE says

David DePape, the man charged with attempted murder in connection with a violent attack on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Paul Pelosi, is illegally in the United States and could be deported to Canada, said Thursday immigration and customs officials.

DePape, 42, has pleaded not guilty to multiple counts related to Friday’s attack, which left Pelosi with a fractured skull and serious injuries to his right arm and hands. Federal authorities say DePape, who grew up in British Columbia and moved to California more than 20 years ago, according to a family member who spoke to The Times, plotted to hold Nancy hostage Pelosi (D-San Francisco) and break her kneecaps, calling her a “ringleader” of the lies told by the Democratic Party.

Records retrieved by ICE revealed that DePape entered the United States as a temporary visitor in March 2008 at the San Ysidro port of entry. Canadians entering as temporary visitors generally do not need visas, officials said.

The status DePape uses to enter the United States generally allows Canadians to stay for six months.

On Tuesday, ICE officials released an immigration detainee on DePape with San Francisco County Jail, where he is currently being held without bond.

The inmate requests notification from San Francisco law enforcement to inform ICE prior to his release so that the federal agency takes him into care. Local and state laws limit when prison officials can notify ICE of an individual’s release date.

ICE issues detainees against people facing criminal charges that the agency has probable cause to believe can be deported.

In a motion to deny bail, the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office said DePape told officers and doctors at the scene, “I’m sick of the insane level of lies coming out of Washington, D.C.”.

Judge Diane Northway ordered DePape held without bond pending additional hearings.

In addition to attempted murder, DePape has been charged with residential burglary, assault with a deadly weapon, elder abuse, wrongful imprisonment of an elder, and threatening a public official and his family. He faces 13 years to life in prison if convicted of all local charges. He also faces federal charges of assault and kidnapping.

Prosecutors said DePape smashed the glass patio door at Pelosis’ San Francisco home around 2 a.m. Friday.

It’s unclear whether any alarms sounded in the home, but officials said after breaking in, DePape managed to get to the second floor.

There he found 82-year-old Paul Pelosi asleep and repeatedly shouted, “Where’s Nancy?” officials said. The House Speaker was in Washington, DC — with her extensive Capitol Police security team — and her husband was home alone at the time of the break-in.

Realizing the potential danger, Pelosi managed to make a quick, surreptitious call to 911 and left the line open, authorities said. A 911 dispatcher realized something was seriously wrong and immediately dispatched the police to the address.

Security cameras at the Pacific Heights residence in Pelosis were not actively monitored by U.S. Capitol Police on the night of the violent home invasion, the government agency said Wednesday.

After reporting to The Times and other media that a security feed existed, Capitol Police said in a statement that the cameras “are being used to actively monitor the speaker’s residence in San Francisco around the clock. when she’s there,” but acknowledged that when she’s in Washington, D.C., with her security — as she was during Friday’s burglary — the “cameras weren’t actively monitored.”

Prosecutors allege DePape had other targets in mind — including a Bay Area professor and prominent state and federal politicians and their families — when he broke into the Pelosis home. He planned to await the speaker’s return, a motion to deny his release on bail was noted.

Police did not offer a motive for the attack. But San Francisco Dist. Atti. Brooke Jenkins said Monday that, based on DePape’s statements and comments to Pelosi, it “was politically motivated.”

A Times review of his online accounts showed DePape was embroiled in the world of far-right conspiracies, anti-Semitism and hate.

In a personal blog maintained by DePape, posts include “Manipulation of History”, “Holohoax”, and “It’s OK to be white”. He mentions 4chan, a favorite far-right message board. He posted videos about conspiracies involving COVID-19 vaccines and the war in Ukraine being a ploy to get Jews to buy land.

DePape’s screeds include articles on QAnon, an unfounded theory that former President Trump is at war with a cabal of Satan-worshipping Democratic elites who run a pedophilia ring and control the world. In an Aug. 23 entry titled “Q,” DePape wrote, “Either Q is Trump himself or Q is the deep state moles within Trump’s inner circle.

Adam Lipson, public defender for DePape, said his client’s “vulnerability to misinformation” will be considered as part of his defense.


Los Angeles Times

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