The man accused of breaking into House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco home and violently assaulting her husband Paul Pelosi early Friday morning reportedly spread QAnon conspiracy theories and defended former President Donald Trump’s false claim that the 2020 election was stolen in a slew of rambling online posts.
David DePape, who was arrested Friday after violently assaulting Paul Pelosi, reportedly maintained several blogs where he would regularly spread conspiracy theories and white supremacist ideologies backed by QAnon—the unfounded theory that the United States is controlled by a cabal of Democratic sex traffickers and cannibals—according to his daughter, Inti Gonzalez, who spoke to the Los Angeles Times.
His posts, which have since been deleted, included titles like “It’s OK to be white” and “Holohoax,” as well as one called “Q,” in which he wrote the anonymous leader of QAnon is either Trump or the “deepstate moles within Trump’s inner circle.”
DePape, 42, also spread violent, racist and antisemitic posts, including one stating “the more Ukrainians die NEEDLESSLY (in the war with Russia) the cheaper the land will be for Jews to buy up,” and another arguing journalists who deny Trump’s baseless claim of voter fraud in the 2020 election “should be dragged straight out into the street and shot,” the Associated Press reported.
DePape was allegedly looking for the House speaker, yelling “Where is Nancy?”—echoing the chants from the January 6 rioters, who stormed the Capitol Building and broke into the Speaker’s office—before attempting to tie up and severely beating her husband.
DePape was previously known as a “father figure” among some in Berkeley, California, where he made hemp jewelry and belonged to a small pro-nudity group, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. He also was registered with the left-leaning Green Party.
“The more you are untethered from the communal institutions that hold us together, the easier it is to do a dance step to the other side, because they share a distrust of institutions and processes,” Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University San Bernardino, told the San Francisco Chronicle.
San Francisco police arrested DePape, who will be charged with attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, burglary and elder abuse, San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins said late Friday. No motive has been determined, although San Francisco Police Chief William Scott said Friday it “was not a random act,” but an “intentional” and “wrong” act of violence. Lawmakers condemned the attack Friday night, with President Joe Biden calling it “despicable” at a speech at a Pennsylvania Democratic Party Independence Dinner. It comes amid a rise in violent threats against elected officials of both parties, following an attack on the home of Sen. Susan Collin (R-Maine), an incident involving a man stalking Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) outside her office, and another of a man waiting outside Rep. Pramila Jayapal’s (D-Wash) Seattle home with a semiautomatic handgun. Intimidation and violence toward lawmakers has come into the national spotlight following the January 6 insurrection, when MAGA rioters stormed the Capitol, searching for proof of the baseless claim the 2020 election was stolen from Trump, and demanding Pelosi and former Vice President Mike Pence overturn the results.