No Motive Yet in Paul Pelosi Attack but Democrats Blame Republican Rhetoric
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Police have yet to release a motive for the assault on Nancy Pelosi's husband Paul at their San Francisco home early Friday morning.
Police say the suspect, David DePape, made it all the way to the second floor of the residence and reportedly asked, 'where's Nancy' before confronting the Speaker's husband, 82-year-old Paul Pelosi.
Pelosi called 911 and when officers arrived they saw DePape take a hammer from Pelosi and hit him on the head.
San Francisco Police Chief William Scott said, "Mr. DePape immediately pulled the hammer away from Mr. Pelosi and violently attacked him with the hammer."
Mr. Pelosi is recovering after surgery at a local hospital.
It's unknown whether the hammer used was DePape's or Pelosi's.
What is known is that DePape is described by those who know him as a homeless addict with mental illness.
His politics are not clear. DePape's home was reported to have had a Black Lives Matter sign and LGBT rainbow flag in the window. He was known to have written rambling posts online and reportedly declared "Jesus is the Anti-Christ."
Some Democrats blame the attack on conservative political rhetoric. Hillary Clinton directly tried to blame Republicans for the incident, tweeting, "The Republican Party and its mouthpieces now regularly spread hate and deranged conspiracy theories. It is shocking, but not surprising, that violence is the result."
Former President Obama said, "The politics, where some in office or who aspire to office, work to stir up division, to make folks as angry and as afraid of one another for their own advantage."
But conservatives have frequently been the victims of political violence. Then-House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was shot and nearly killed when Republicans were targeted during a congressional baseball practice in 2017 by a Bernie Sanders supporter. And Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh was the target of an assassination plot after a leak that the Supreme Court was about to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Justice Samuel Alito warned that the Justices could have been possible victims.
"The leak also made those of us who were thought to be in the majority in support of overruling Roe and Casey targets for assassination...by killing one us," Alito said.
Members of Congress have been particular targets in recent years. Violent statements and threats against members of Congress are reported to have more than doubled since 2017, to almost 10,000 cases.
After the assault Friday, Pelosi herself thanked her fellow members of Congress for their support, quoting a passage from the book of Isaiah.
And Republicans condemned the attack.
Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) said, "What happened to Paul Pelosi is despicable, it's unacceptable. We've got to figure out how to bring our country back together, where we have a civil conversation."
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