SAN FRANCISCO - The federal trial began on Thursday for the man accused in the brutal attack on Paul Pelosi, the husband of Rep. Nancy Pelosi.
David DePape is accused of breaking into the Pelosis' San Francisco home and using a hammer to attack Paul Pelosi in October 2022. He has pleaded not guilty to attempting to kidnap a federal official and assault on the immediate family member of a federal official.
In opening statements, the prosecutor said that DePape wanted to kidnap Nancy Pelosi and told her husband that "you will take the punishment instead."
The jury was also shown video of DePape striking Pelosi which was recorded on the body cameras of San Francisco police officers.
The defense said that DePape had no intention of harming Paul Pelosi and that he acted out of the belief that he was saving children from harm — an idea that he latched onto after listening to podcasts and watching YouTube videos.
U.S. District Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley had previously rejected the defense request to move the trial from San Francisco to the city of Eureka.
The judge told prosecutors that they bear the "heavy burden" of proving that DePape intended to kidnap the former speaker when he broke into her home, and that he assaulted Paul Pelosi with the intent to interfere with the lawmaker’s official duties or retaliate against her, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Next week, Paul Pelosi is expected to testify.
DePape is a Canadian who wound up espousing right-wing conspiracy theories.
He faces up to a combined 50 years in prison if convicted. He’s pleaded not guilty to charges