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Suspect in Paul Pelosi attack indicted on federal charges of assault, attempted kidnapping

Pelosi discusses brutal attack on her husband
Nancy Pelosi opens up about brutal attack on her husband 00:37

The man accused of violently attacking Paul Pelosi, the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in the couple's San Francisco home last month has been indicted by a federal grand jury on assault and attempted kidnapping charges, the Justice Department announced Wednesday. The man is also facing state charges stemming from the alleged break-in and assault.

A grand jury indicted David DePape, 42, with one federal count each of assault upon an immediate family member of a U.S. official with the intent to retaliate against the official on account of the performance of official duties, and attempted kidnapping of a U.S. official on account of the performance of official duties, the Justice Department said in a news release.

Federal prosecutors had initially filed those same two charges against DePape a few days after the attack. However, the grand jury indictment now supersedes those.

The San Francisco District Attorney's Office previously charged DePape with attempted murder, residential burglary, assault with a deadly weapon, elder abuse, false imprisonment of an elder, and threats to a public official and their family. DePape has pleaded not guilty to those charges.

In the early morning hours of Oct. 28, authorities say DePape broke into the Pelosi home, entered the couple's bedroom, woke up Paul Pelosi and told him he was looking for the House speaker, who was in Washington, D.C., at the time.

Officers who responded to a 911 call from Paul Pelosi witnessed the suspect attack Paul Pelosi with a hammer, San Francisco police said. DePape was arrested at the scene.

The 82-year-old Paul Pelosi underwent surgery for a skull fracture and other injuries and is now out of the hospital and recovering.

According to Wednesday's federal indictment, police recovered zip ties inside the Pelosi home, which, in an interview with detectives, DePape admitted he had planned to use to tie up Paul Pelosi.

Investigators also found a backpack allegedly belonging to DePape on the back porch of the Pelosi home, near where the break-in had occurred, which contained a second hammer, a roll of tape, and cloth and rubber gloves, the indictment reads.

A CBS News review of suspected social media posts by DePape showed him spreading unfounded conspiracy theories about Holocaust denial, pedophiles in the government, and claims that Democratic officials run child sex rings.

On the night of the assault on Paul Pelosi, DePape also had a list of people he wanted to target, law enforcement sources briefed on the investigation have told CBS News.

If convicted as charged on the federal charges, DePape faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison for the assault count, and 20 years for the attempted kidnapping count. 

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