The man accused of attacking US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband was charged on Monday with attempted murder and attempted kidnapping of a public official, with the assault now described by a lead prosecutor as politically motivated.
Suspect David DePape of California was arrested early on Friday morning after he allegedly broke into Pelosi's San Francisco mansion, intending to tie up the powerful politician and break her kneecaps with a hammer if she did not confess to Democratic "lies," the US Justice Department said in a court filing.
DePape had tape, rope, zip ties and other materials with him, the Justice Department said, but he found only Pelosi's husband Paul, whom he attacked, hitting him in the head with a hammer.
Federal authorities on Monday charged DePape, 42, with attempting to kidnap a US official and assaulting her family member over her actions in her job.
Hours later, San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins announced a slew of new state charges that she said included "attempted murder, residential burglary, assault with a deadly weapon, elder abuse, false imprisonment of an elder as well as threats to a public official and their family."
If convicted on the state charges, DePape would face 13 years to life in prison, according to Jenkins.
She said the state and federal prosecutions will move forward in parallel, and that her office will seek to have DePape detained without bail when he is arraigned on Tuesday.
In a court affidavit, the FBI said DePape told them after his arrest that he viewed Nancy Pelosi as responsible for lies told by her Democratic Party.
He intended to hold Pelosi hostage and talk to her, the affidavit said.
"If Nancy were to tell DePape the 'truth,' he would let her go, and if she 'lied,' he was going to break 'her kneecaps,'" the affidavit said.
Nancy Pelosi was not in San Francisco at the time of the attack.
Awakened by the break-in, Paul Pelosi dialed the 911 emergency number and meanwhile conversed with DePape, seeking to keep the situation calm until police arrived.
But when police came on the scene the two struggled over a hammer and DePape smashed Paul Pelosi's head with it, leaving him unconscious, according to the affidavit.
Police subdued DePape and Pelosi, 82, was sent to a hospital where he underwent emergency surgery for a skull fracture and serious injuries to his right arm and hands.
DePape later told authorities that Paul Pelosi was "taking the punishment instead" of his wife, given her absence.
Nancy Pelosi said late on Monday that her family has been deluged with thousands of messages of concern and warm wishes, and while a recovery was expected for her husband, she stressed he faced extensive rehabilitation.
"Thanks to the excellent trauma care medical team at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, Paul is making steady progress on what will be a long recovery process."