David DePape, the man who allegedly broke into House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco home, and wrestled her husband Paul for a hammer, was in the United States illegally.
According to CNN, DePape, 42, grew up in Powell River, British Columbia, before leaving “Canada about 20 years ago to pursue a relationship that brought him to California.”
A source from Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) later told Fox News that DePape is in the U.S. illegally following a “longtime” visa overstay. In other words, DePape arrived in the U.S. by legal means but did not leave after his visa expired.
DePape Was Not Conservative
He was not a MAGA member; he did not support the “insurrection” of Jan. 6; and he was never even a Republican.
But DePape was a known nudist activist who his ex-girlfriend says was also a progressive and mentally ill.
DePape was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, elder abuse and burglary for having bludgeoned Paul Pelosi, 82, with a hammer, fracturing his skull.
DePape has been residing in a decrepit school bus that sits outside the Berkeley home of his ex-girlfriend, Oxane “Gypsy” Taub, also a pro-nudist activist.
A two-decade resident of the San Francisco Bay Area, DePape was also known for his pro-nudity activism. He had picketed naked at protests against laws requiring people to be clothed in public.
Protesting such a reasonable law is not usually an activity of a Trump supporter.
Taub, the mother of DePape’s three children, told the New York Post he has been suffering from mental illness.
“He is mentally ill,” she told ABC-7. “He has been mentally ill for a long time.”
Taub, who currently is serving time in a California prison for abducting a teenage boy, said DePape had disappeared for over a year and then resurfaced recently.
He Thought He Was Jesus
“He thought he was Jesus,” she told ABC-7.
“He was constantly paranoid, thinking people were after him. And it took a good year or two to get back to, you know, being halfway normal.”
She also noted DePape’s politics were not right wing.
“Well, when I met him, he was only 20 years old, and he didn’t have any experience in politics,” she said. “And he was very much in alignment with my views, and I’ve always been very progressive.”
“This was not a random act,” San Francisco Police Chief William Scott said. “This was intentional. And it’s wrong.”
But no definitive motive has been reported for this “intentional” crime, just a week from an earth-shaking midterm election.
“I wasn’t surprised because another crazy story is coming from someone in that house,” DePape’s Berkeley neighbor Ryan La Coste told the N.Y. Post.
“They are always toxic and always up to something. They are always on the news and trying to be ‘activists.’ They always want to be in the spotlight.”
Reporters on social media noted some shaky details in mainstream media’s initial portrayal of Pelosi’s attacker as a right-wing activist.
“Why did Paul Pelosi’s alleged attacker, a nudist Green Party activist, go off the grid for years and then start posting Q rants just a few weeks ago?” Charlie Kirk tweeted Saturday.
Formal charges against DePape will be filed Monday, and his arraignment is expected Tuesday, according to the San Francisco district attorney’s office.
SFPD Chief Scott told a Friday night news briefing that police detectives, assisted by FBI agents, had yet to determine what precipitated the home invasion.
The media and Speaker Pelosi were also quick to note DePape was shouting “Where is Nancy?” during the attack on her husband at their San Francisco home. Nancy Pelosi was in Washington, D.C.
In the search for a motive, attention turned to the suspect’s alleged internet profile.
In recent posts on several websites, an internet user named “daviddepape” expressed support for former President Donald Trump and embraced the cult-like conspiracy theory QAnon.
Suspect Made Bizarre Posts on Social Media
The posts included references to “satanic pedophilia,” antisemitic tropes, and criticism of women, transgender people, and censorship by tech companies.
Older messages promoted quartz crystals and hemp bracelets. Reuters could not confirm that the posts were created by the man arrested Friday.
Experts on extremism said the man who attacked Pelosi’s husband could be an example of a growing trend they call “stochastic terrorism,” in which sometimes-unstable individuals are inspired to violence by hate speech and scenarios they see online and hear echoed by public figures.
“This was clearly a targeted attack. The purpose was to locate and potentially harm the speaker of the House,” said John Cohen, a former counterterrorism coordinator and head of intelligence at the Department of Homeland Security who is working with U.S. law enforcement agencies on the issue.
The San Francisco Chronicle posted a photo of a man it identified as DePape dancing at the 2013 wedding of two nudist activists in San Francisco, though he was clothed.
DePape, then a hemp jewelry maker who lived with the couple in Berkeley, was the best man, the newspaper reported.
The incident came a day after New York City police warned extremists could target politicians, political events, and polling sites ahead of the midterm elections.
Newsmax host Rob Schmitt noted there are hints of midterm narrative deflection on the issue of crime and some hypocrisy in the fact Pelosi’s daughter once suggested Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., deserved to be attacked by his neighbor.
That fact had resurfaced earlier this week — days before DePape’s alleged attack — in the Democrats’ attempt to flip the Senate seat of Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa.
“The daughter of Nancy Pelosi celebrated that 2017 attack on Rand Paul, saying, ‘Rand Paul’s neighbor was right,'” Schmitt noted on Friday’s “Rob Schmitt Tonight.”
“Christine Pelosi apparently loves political violence. I wonder what she thinks of it being directed at her own family, though?”
Paul himself gave his condolences to Paul Pelosi, noting their family did not afford him the same respect.
“No one deserves to be assaulted,” Paul tweeted Friday. “Unlike Nancy Pelosi’s daughter who celebrated my assault, I condemn this attack and wish Mr. Pelosi a speedy recovery.”
Earlier in the week, comments surfaced from Adm. Mike Franken, a Democrat opposing Iowa’s Grassley as the Senate majority weighs in the balance next month.
“Wasn’t Rand’s neighbor more than a little in the right?” Franken tweeted Jan. 21, 2021, years after the attack on Paul.
Paul was the one who resurfaced those Franken remarks this week.
“Disgusting that Mike Franken would celebrate an assault (from behind) that resulted in 6 broken ribs, a damaged lung that had to be removed, and chronic pain,” Paul tweeted Tuesday. “Advocacy for violence should disqualify Franken from holding any office.”
But Franken did not back down, upping the ante on political division and violence, while spinning the Democrat narrative of the false claim Paul, a sitting U.S. senator, had sought to insurrect the government.
“I’m not going to be lectured to by an insurrectionist,” Franken tweeted in response Wednesday to Paul.
Less than 48 hours later, DePape would allegedly bludgeon the speaker’s husband within inches of his life.
With reporting from Newsmax.