We’re winding down our live coverage for the day. Here’s what you should know about the attack on Paul Pelosi, the House speaker’s husband:
Paul Pelosi is recovering after a successful surgery for a skull fracture and “serious injuries” to his arm and hands, a spokesperson for Nancy Pelosi said.
Police have identified the suspect as 42-year-old David DePape, who faces charges of attempted homicide, elder abuse, burglary, and several other felonies for allegedly breaking into the couple’s San Francisco home and attacking the 82-year-old with a hammer. DePape was allegedly looking for the speaker, shouting “Where is Nancy?”
Police have said they are still trying to determine a motive. Some Democrats have referred to the attack as an “assassination attempt”.
DePape was reportedly a follower of the rightwing conspiracy theory QAnon and had a blog where he embraced conspiracy theories about January 6, the 2020 election and Covid. A relative said DePape has mental health issues and refused contact with family.
Julián Castro, the former Democratic presidential candidate and housing secretary, is calling for more security for Nancy Pelosi after the attack on the speaker’s husband.
Paul Pelosi has undergone a successful surgery for a skull fracture and “serious injuries” to his arm and hands, a spokesperson for Nancy Pelosi said in a statement.
“Earlier this morning, Paul Pelosi was attacked at home by an assailant who acted with force, and threatened his life while demanding to see the Speaker,” Drew Hammill said. “Mr Pelosi was admitted to Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital where he underwent successful surgery to repair a skull fracture and serious injuries to his right arm and hands. His doctors expect a full recovery.
“The Speaker and her family are thankful for the outpouring of support and prayers from friends, constituents and people around the country. The Pelosi family is immensely grateful to Mr Pelosi’s entire medical team and the law enforcement officers who responded to the assault. The family appreciates respect for their privacy during this time.”
A relative of David DePape, the suspect in the attack against Paul Pelosi, said the 42-year-old has mental health issues and refused contact with family, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
Ron DePape, who said David DePape is a stepson of his brother’s from a previous marriage, told the newspaper: “We don’t have any contact with him and just feeling sad and sorry for the Pelosi family.”
“It’s just a sad event. It has to be mental health issues that he’s been carrying around I would think.”
The British Columbia resident told the San Francisco Chronicle that David DePape lived there but left “at an early age” to move to the US with a girlfriend: “He refused contact with any family. He just kind of disappeared.”
David DePape appears to have an online blog filled with conspiracy theories about the government, media and tech companies, and appeared to be a follower of the QAnon conspiracy theory, according to the newspaper.
Republican Adam Kinzinger, a January 6 committee member, on the attack on Paul Pelosi:
Congressman Bill Pascrell has described the attack on Paul Pelosi as an assassination attempt and blamed “big lies from many Republicans” for the violence.
The congressman said in a statement Friday:
“This assassination attempt never should have happened. This guy has a background that shows he’s been moved, instigated, and influenced by those people who seek to divide us. Turn on rightwing media on any given day or night. You will see frothing hosts shrieking unspeakable lies and unfounded conspiracy theories about women, religious and ethnic minorities, city residents, young people and scores of others Americans. That some are radicalized to commit unspeakable violence against their perceived enemies cannot be a surprise. This terrorism is growing and threatens every community in America.”
Early reports found that Pelosi’s attacker, David Depape, had embraced conspiracy theories about January 6, the 2020 election and Covid in online posts.
I’m Dani Anguiano and I’ll be taking over our live blog for the remainder of the day.
House speaker Nancy Pelosi is heading to San Francisco following the attack on her husband Paul Pelosi, Punchbowl News reports:
While the Capitol police are scrambling to provide extra security to family members of congressional leadership after the attack, CBS News says the agency has been facing a months-long deluge of threats to lawmakers:
The Guardian’s Dani Anguiano is now taking over this blog, and will cover the latest developments in this breaking story over the remainder of the day.
NBC Bay Area reports Paul Pelosi is recovering from surgery on his head at a hospital in San Francisco.
Previously, hospital sources had said he was undergoing brain surgery.
Years before he reportedly embraced conspiracy theories and was accused of attacking House speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, David DePape was associated with a uniquely San Francisco cause, according to Mission Local.
The news site reports he was involved in protests against San Francisco’s anti-nudity ordinance, held about a decade ago in the Castro neighborhood:
His name is mentioned in some coverage from that episode. The San Francisco Chronicle has someone they identify as “David Depape” pictured alongside pro-nudity activist Gypsy Taub in 2013.
In coverage of the protests from the same year, the San Francisco Bay Area Independent Media Center names DePape as a photographer, spelling his surname “dePape”.
The United States will next week put the United Nations spotlight on protests in Iran sparked by the death of a young woman in police custody and look for ways to promote credible, independent investigations into Iranian human rights abuses.
The US and Albania will hold an informal UN security council gathering on Wednesday, according to a note outlining the event, seen by Reuters.
Iranian Nobel peace prize laureate Shirin Ebadi and Iranian-born actress and activist Nazanin Boniadi are set to brief.
The meeting will highlight the ongoing repression of women and girls and members of religious and ethnic minority groups in Iran.
It will identify opportunities to promote credible, independent investigations into the Iranian government’s human rights violations and abuses,” the note said.
An independent UN investigator on human rights in Iran, Javaid Rehman, is also due to address the meeting, which can be attended by other UN member states and rights groups.
Iran has been gripped by protests since the death of 22-year-old Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini in police custody last month. The unrest has turned into a popular revolt by Iranians from all layers of society, posing one of the boldest challenges to the clerical leadership since the 1979 revolution.
Iran has blamed its foreign enemies and their agents for the unrest.
The meeting will underscore ongoing unlawful use of force against protesters and the Iranian regime’s pursuit of human rights defenders and dissidents abroad to abduct or assassinate them in contravention of international law,” read the note about the planned meeting.
Rights groups have said at least 250 protesters have been killed and thousands arrested across the country. Women have played a prominent part in the protests, removing and burning veils.
The deaths of several teenage girls reportedly killed during protests have fuelled more anger.
UN secretary general António Guterres has called on Iranian security forces to refrain from unnecessary or disproportionate force against protesters and appealed to all to exercise restraint and avoid further escalation.
The day so far
Top House Democrat Nancy Pelosi’s husband Paul Pelosi is recovering from an assault by a hammer-wielding intruder who broke into their home and shouted “where is Nancy?” Coming less than two years after the deadly January 6 attack on the Capitol, the incident underscores the continued threat of political violence in the United States as voters prepare to cast ballots in the 8 November midterm elections.
Here’s what else has happened today:
Elon Musk completed his purchase of Twitter, but there are no signs that he has lifted the ban on Donald Trump – yet.
Big name Democrats are out campaigning today to revive the party’s chances ahead of the midterms, including Barack Obama in Georgia, and Bernie Sanders in Nevada.
Joe Biden stuck to his usual talking points in an interview yesterday, but sounded skeptical of Russian president Vladimir Putin’s insistence that he wasn’t planning to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine.
David DePape, the 42-year-old man accused of attempted homicide and other charges for allegedly assaulting Paul Pelosi, has embraced conspiracy theories in online posts, CNN reports:
Here’s more from the network:
Pelosi attack suspect facing attempted homicide charge
Bill Scott, chief of the San Francisco police department, said the suspect in the attack on Paul Pelosi will face charges of attempted homicide and assault with a deadly weapon, among others.
In a brief press conference where he took no questions, Scott recounted what officers saw when they arrived at the Pelosi residence around 2.27am today to respond to a welfare call.
“When the officers arrived on scene, they encountered an adult male and [M] Pelosi’s husband, Paul. Our officers observed Mr Pelosi and the suspect both holding a hammer. The suspect pulled the hammer away from Mr Pelosi and violently assaulted him with it. Our officers immediately tackled the suspect, disarmed him, took him into custody, requested emergency backup and rendered medical aid,” Scott said.
The chief identified the suspect as 42-year-old David Depape. In addition to attempted homicide, he’ll also face charges of “elder abuse, burglary, and several other additional felonies”, Scott said.
The San Francisco police department is beginning its press conference on the attack on Paul Pelosi.
Follow along here for updates.
House Republican Whip Steve Scalise has joined in condemning the attack on Paul Pelosi:
In 2017, Scalise was shot when a gunman opened fire at a congressional baseball team practice in Virginia.
CNN is reporting more violent details of the attack on Paul Pelosi:
The San Francisco police department is expected to soon hold a press conference on the attack.
Helicopter footage of the Pelosis’ San Francisco home appears to show a window broken on a door:
Punchbowl News reports that the presence of the Capitol police in California is relatively recent:
Top House Republican Kevin McCarthy has spoken to Nancy Pelosi about the attack on her husband, according to a spokesman.
“Leader McCarthy reached out to the Speaker to check in on Paul and said he’s praying for a full recovery and is thankful they caught the assailant,” McCarthy’s spokesman Mark Bednar said.
McCarthy, who represents the area around the city of Bakersfield in California’s Central Valley, is poised to take over as speaker of the House if Democrats lose their majority in the upcoming midterms.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports the person suspected of attacking Paul Pelosi is David Depape of Berkeley, California.
Berkeley is just across the San Francisco Bay from the city Nancy Pelosi has represented in Congress since 1987.
More Republicans have condemned the attack on Paul Pelosi, husband of Democratic House speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Here’s Mitch McConnell, the top Republican in the Senate:
And Texas’s Republican senator Ted Cruz:
CNN reports that the Capitol Police have obtained video of the attack on Paul Pelosi in San Francisco:
The Capitol Police are considering increasing their protection of congressional leaders in response to the attack on Paul Pelosi, CBS News reports:
'Where is Nancy?' intruder shouted during attack on Pelosi's San Francisco home
Multiple news outlets are now reporting that the person who broke into Nancy Pelosi’s home and attacked her husband Paul Pelosi shouted, “Where is Nancy?”
Here’s CNN with the new detail:
The suspect who attacked Paul Pelosi was apparently looking for his wife, Democratic House speaker Nancy Pelosi, ABC News reports, citing sources familiar with the matter.
The suspect entered their home through a sliding glass door, according to ABC. Police have not released details about the person arrested for the assault.
The Washington Post reports that while Nancy Pelosi, who occupies a leadership post that is second-in-line to the presidency, has a protective detail, her husband does not unless he is with his wife.
With Americans soon heading to the polls in the midterm elections, it’s worth noting that the majority of states have passed new laws in the wake of the 2020 election that Ese Olumhense of Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting finds amounts to one of the biggest voter suppression threats in recent memory:
Since the 2020 election, lawmakers in all but eight states have attempted to pass laws that would create new election investigation agencies, establish criminal penalties for election offenses or further empower law enforcement officials to investigate such crimes, according to an analysis by Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting.
The proliferation of election crime legislation represents the most intense voter suppression threat in decades and comes in direct response to former president Donald Trump’s lie that the 2020 election was fraudulent.
In the last two years, at least 130 bills have been introduced across 42 states that would increase the involvement of law enforcement in the voting process, the analysis shows. Of those bills, 28 have passed in 20 states.
Some of these efforts have grabbed attention individually, like Georgia’s law making it a crime to hand out food or drinks – even water – to voters waiting in line or Florida’s creation of an entirely new law enforcement agency to police elections, the office of election crimes and security, which has already been criticized for bringing flimsy prosecutions.
Reveal’s first-of-its-kind analysis shows those bills are part of a larger movement, mostly led by Republican state lawmakers and fueled by conspiracy theories. While some of those efforts have so far failed, they show no sign of relenting, as the myth of voter fraud has become a central GOP platform.
According to the Associated Press, sources familiar with the investigation say Nancy and Paul Pelosi’s home in San Francisco was specifically targeted for attack.
The assailant who left Paul Pelosi “severely beaten” was taken into custody. No details have been released about the suspect. The San Francisco police department will have a press conference about the attack at 12.30pm eastern time, which this blog will cover.
The Guardian’s Joan E Greve has taken a close look at Democrats’ chances ahead of the 8 November midterms, and finds things are not looking good for Joe Biden’s party:
With less than two weeks to go until election day, Democrats’ hopes of defying political history and keeping their narrow majorities in the House and Senate appear to be fading, as many of the party’s candidates go on the defensive in the final days of campaigning.
Over the summer, many election forecasters wondered if Democrats could avoid the widespread losses typically seen by the president’s party in the midterms. With voters expressing outrage over the supreme court’s decision to end federal protections for abortion access and gas prices falling, Democrats had been hopeful that their endangered incumbents could win re-election.
In August, Democrats took the lead on the generic congressional ballot, according to FiveThirtyEight. They held on to that lead for two and a half months – until last week.
The national political environment now seems to have moved in Republicans’ favor, and Democrats are running out of time to turn the tide. Gas prices started to rise again this month, although they have since started to moderate. With inflation at near record levels, the share of voters who name the economy as their top priority has increased since the summer.
House Democrat Pramila Jayapal condemned the assault on Paul Pelosi. This summer, a man was arrested outside Jayapal’s home for allegedly shouting obscenities and threatening to kill her.
Republican senator Rand Paul also spoke out against the attack, while expressing bitterness for comments Nancy Pelosi’s daughter made when he was attacked by a neighbor in 2017:
Biden 'praying' for speaker's family after Paul Pelosi attacked: White House
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre has released a statement about the attack on Paul Pelosi in San Francisco:
The President is praying for Paul Pelosi and for Speaker Pelosi’s whole family. This morning he called Speaker Pelosi to express his support after this horrible attack. He is also very glad that a full recovery is expected. The President continues to condemn all violence, and asks that the family’s desire for privacy be respected.
Chuck Schumer, the top Democrat in the Senate, also reacted to the assault. “What happened to Paul Pelosi was a dastardly act. I spoke with Speaker Pelosi earlier this morning and conveyed my deepest concern and heartfelt wishes to her husband and their family, and I wish him a speedy recovery,” he said.
The US Capitol police, FBI and San Francisco police department have released a joint statement about the assault on Paul Pelosi. It contains few new details, but tells their side of the incident.
Here it is, in full:
The United States Capitol Police (USCP) is assisting the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the San Francisco Police with a joint investigation into a break-in at the California home of the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
The Speaker was in Washington, D.C. with her protective detail at the time of the overnight, break-in.
During the California break-in, the Speaker’s husband was assaulted, but he is now recovering.
The San Francisco Police Department has the suspect in custody. The motivation for the attack is still under investigation.
Special Agents with the USCP’s California Field Office quickly arrived on scene, while a team of investigators from the Department’s Threat Assessment Section was simultaneously dispatched from the East Coast to assist the FBI and the San Francisco Police with a joint investigation.
The law enforcement agencies will provide more information when it can be released.
During a visit to Syracuse, New York yesterday, Joe Biden gave a brief interview to Nexstar Media Group, where he touched on inflation and Russian president Vladimir Putin’s nuclear threats.
Here are the highlights:
Biden didn’t make much news in the encounter, instead sticking to well-worn messages about the low unemployment rate, and insisting inflation will fall. He did, however, express skepticism about Putin’s recent statements that he didn’t plan to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine:
Paul Pelosi 'severely beaten', attacked with hammer during break-in: media
More details are emerging of the violent assault on Paul Pelosi, husband to Democratic House speaker Nancy Pelosi. According to the Associated Press, Paul Pelosi was “severely beaten” during the break-in at their San Francisco home.
CNN reports he was hit with a hammer:
The speaker’s office has said Paul is “expected to make a full recovery”.
Twitter now in 'sane hands', Trump declares after Elon Musk buys platform
Donald Trump was once Twitter’s most famous user, deploying it as a megaphone for his presidential administration before being banned after the January 6 insurrection. As of yesterday, billionaire Elon Musk owns the influential platform, and has said kicking Trump off was a mistake.
So will Trump return to Twitter? Here’s what the former president had to say, in a post on his Truth social network:
TRUTH SOCIAL has become somewhat of a phenomena. Last week it had bigger numbers than all other platforms, including TikTok, Twitter, Facebook, and the rest. It also looks and works better to my eye. I am very happy that Twitter is now in sane hands, and will no longer be run by Radical Left Lunatics and Maniacs that truly hate our country. Twitter must now work hard to rid itself of all of the bots and fake accounts that have hurt it so badly. It will be much smaller, but better. I LOVE TRUTH!
The Guardian has a live blog dedicated to this developing story, which you can follow along below:
Nancy Pelosi's husband attacked in San Francisco home
Paul Pelosi, husband of Democratic House speaker Nancy Pelosi, was attacked in their San Francisco home, the lawmaker’s office announced. The Guardian’s Ed Pilkington has the latest on this breaking story:
Paul Pelosi, the husband of the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, was taken to hospital early on Friday after an attack took place at the couple’s home in San Francisco.
Pelosi’s office said he was “violently assaulted” by an attacker who broke into the Pelosi home.
“The assailant is in custody and the motivation for the attack is under investigation,” the office of the longtime Democratic congresswoman and House speaker said.
In a statement, Pelosi’s spokesperson Drew Hammill said her husband, 82, was “receiving excellent medical care and is expected to make a full recovery”. Hammill said Nancy Pelosi was not in San Francisco at the time of the attack.
“The speaker and her family are grateful to the first responders and medical professionals involved, and request privacy at this time,” Hammill said.
Obama, Sanders, Biden and Harris: they’re all out today in what can best be described as an effort to stem the bleeding Democrats are expected to do in the 8 November midterms.
Polls have grown significantly worse for the party in recent weeks, indicating a “red wave” of Republican victories that seemed avoidable over the summer may indeed arrive. The below estimate from Cook Political Report is typical of what analysts are now saying to expect in the House of Representatives, where the GOP needs to gain six seats to create a majority:
Democrats’ chances are viewed as better in the Senate, but a resurgence in GOP support has poll aggregator FiveThirtyEight ranking their chances of continuing to control the chamber for the next two years as very, very slim.
Here’s where the country’s most prominent Democrats will be today:
Joe Biden will speak at a reception for the Pennsylvania Democratic party at 7pm eastern time, where he’ll be joined by Vice-President Kamala Harris. She is scheduled to participate in a moderated discussion on protecting reproductive rights with congresswomen Mary Gay Scanlon and actress Sophia Bush in Philadelphia at 3.50pm.
Barack Obama will be in Atlanta, campaigning alongside senator Raphael Warnock and Stacey Abrams, who is running for governor. Hanging on to Warnock’s seat is seen as crucial to Democrats’ chances of keeping control of the Senate.
Senator Bernie Sanders has three events planned today, all in Nevada, where polls indicate senator Catherine Cortez Masto is in for a tough fight to retain a seat that’s similarly key for the continued Democratic majority. He’ll be in Reno at 3pm, then appear in Las Vegas for events at 7pm and 11pm.
Democrats roll out the big guns as midterm advantage slips away
Good morning, US politics blog readers. With their prospects of retaining control of Congress growing dimmer, Democrats are today sending out their biggest names to make their case before the American people. These include Barack Obama, who will appear in Georgia alongside senator Raphael Warnock and gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams. Joe Biden will speak to Democrats in Pennsylvania, where he’ll be joined by Vice-President Kamala Harris. And Bernie Sanders will rally the base in Nevada.
There’s plenty of other news expected today:
Elon Musk now owns Twitter, and the question is: will he make good on his promise to let Donald Trump back on the influential social media platform? Follow the Guardian’s live blog for more on this.
Young people aren’t turning out for early voting, and Democrats are worried, Politico reports.
A new Gallup poll has found a record number of American adults believe there’s more crime than last year, underscoring how public safety has become a major issue in this year’s election.