The man accused of attacking the husband of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told police he was on a “suicide mission” and had plans to target other politicians.
David DePape was allegedly looking for Mrs Pelosi when he attacked her husband Paul, 82, with a hammer in the early hours of last Friday.
According to court documents, before he was taken away from the San Francisco home by police officers, DePape had told them: “I’m sick of the insane f****** level of lies coming out of Washington DC.
“I came her to have a little chat with his wife.
“I didn’t really want to hurt him, but you know this was a suicide mission.
“I’m not going to stand here and do nothing, even if it cost me my life.”
According to the court filing, he also told emergency workers that he had other targets, including a local professor, several prominent state and federal politicians, and members of their families.
None of these targets were named.
‘Where’s Nancy? Where’s Nancy?’
On Tuesday, DePape appeared in San Francisco Superior Court facing state charges of attempted murder, burglary and elder abuse, and federal charges including attempting to kidnap a US official.
His lawyer entered a not guilty plea on his behalf before a judge ordered him to be held without bail until his next appearance on Friday.
The court filing said that DePape had smashed his shoulder through a glass window at the Pelosi home, confronting a sleeping Mr Pelosi.
Standing over him with a hammer and zip ties, DePape had asked: “Are you Paul Pelosi? Where’s Nancy? Where’s Nancy?”
Mr Pelosi told DePape that his wife would be gone for several days, before DePape allegedly threatened to tie him up.
Paul Pelosi called for Capitol Police ‘because they’re usually at the house protecting my wife’
Mr Pelosi was able to call emergency services, telling the dispatcher that he did not need police, fire or medical assistance but requesting the Capitol Police “because they are usually at the house protecting my wife”.
Mrs Pelosi is entitled to security because of her role but her husband and other family members are not included in this protection.
The phone conversation was enough to concern the dispatcher, and she sent police to the house for a “wellbeing check”.
The officers arrived in time to see DePape hit Mr Pelosi with the hammer at least once, striking him on the head, according to the court papers.
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Surgery for skull fracture
Mr Pelosi was knocked unconscious and woke up in a pool of his own blood, before being taken to hospital for surgery on a skull fracture.
San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins wrote in the court documents that DePape’s intent “could not have been clearer”.
“He forced his way into the Pelosi home intending to take the person third-in-line to the presidency of the United States hostage and to seriously harm her.”
‘We’re going to be looking into Mr DePape’s mental state’
DePape’s lawyer Adam Lipson said he intends to provide a “vigorous legal defence”, adding: “We’re going to be doing a comprehensive investigation of what happened.
“We’re going to be looking into Mr DePape’s mental state, and I’m not going to talk any further about that until I have more information.”
The attack has raised further questions about the safety of politicians, amid rising extremism in the US.