Conservative Figures Spread Baseless Claims About Attack on Paul Pelosi

Police investigate House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s home after her husband, Paul Pelosi, was assaulted with a hammer. Photo by Tayfun Coskun via Getty Images.

Local authorities have identified David DePape as the intruder, and the Department of Justice has charged him, at the age of 42, with attempting to kidnap a U.S. Official while performing official duties, which can result in a maximum imprisonment of 20 years. Additionally, he is charged with assaulting a close relative of a U.S. Official with the intention of retaliating against the official for their official duties, which can lead to a maximum prison sentence of 30 years.

However, unfounded assertions and insinuations regarding the assault have inundated social media, contributing to an increasingly pervasive reservoir of anti-LGBTQ language.

NBC covered Collins Ben for his involvement in extremism and spreading disinformation, as reported on Twitter. It was claimed that DePape baselessly suggested that Collins Ben was a prostitute and provided a link to a dubious website with a story. Elon Musk, for instance, deleted the tweet and shared this as an example.

Dear fact checkers, it seems that Donald Trump Jr. Completely denies the claim promoted on Instagram of him posting a sexually explicit cartoon image. He later deleted the image and stated that he had nothing to do with any news regarding the altered scene of a South Park cartoon.

“I don’t know, it doesn’t seem changed.. Seems like a snapshot from the security camera of the Pelosis to me.” For instance, the remarks made by his 6.2 million followers in the comments of the post demonstrated their comprehension.

“How do you explain these two facts, David? So, you can listen to it yourself and the police are recording this. The police told David that the name of his assailant was ‘David.’ How did Pelosi know his attacker’s name? Dinesh D’Souza, a conservative commentator, posted a suggestive claim on Twitter, asking for more information.”

Any insinuation that Pelosi employed DePape as a sex worker or that Pelosi had any acquaintance with him is untrue.

Email received from the spokesperson for the San Francisco Police Department, Robert Rueca, informed us that

Brooke Jenkins, the District Attorney of San Francisco, had expressed the same sentiment during a television interview on October 30th.

Paul Pelosi was not present for him. If she “deceived” him, DePape’s intention was to break her kneecaps and hold Nancy Pelosi captive, as he personally disclosed to FBI agents during a recorded interview.

The FBI informed that DePape used a hammer to break the glass on the back door of the Pelosis’ home sometime before 2:30 a.M. On October 28th.

During that time, Nancy Pelosi was not present in San Francisco. Paul Pelosi was alone in bed on the second level when he arrived at the house.

According to the charging papers from the FBI, DePape “informed Pelosi that he was searching for Nancy.” DePape subsequently “advised Pelosi to rouse from sleep.”

Around 2:23 a.M., Paul Pelosi dialed 911.

Pelosi communicated an issue to the dispatcher, but couldn’t provide details about the intrusion. At some stage, DePape discovered the call and Pelosi managed to enter the bathroom to dial 911. However, as per the charging documents and statements made by the police during press conferences, the exact circumstances surrounding the call remain uncertain.

San Francisco Police Chief William Scott commended the 911 dispatcher on October 28th, highlighting that her expertise and instinct informed her that, despite being eligible for a welfare check, “something additional was occurring.”

According to Scott, the call was escalated by the dispatcher to officers, with him adding, “she took that additional measure.”

This could be the place where assertions like D’Souza’s originated.

Shared on right-leaning media were recorded audio of radio communications between the dispatcher and officers. “RP,” or “reporting person,” was identified as Pelosi in the audio. An officer can be heard saying, “RP mentioned that there’s a man in the residence and that he intends to wait for his spouse. RP mentioned that he is unfamiliar with the man, but he mentioned that his name is David and that he is an acquaintance. RP sounded somewhat disoriented.”

Scott clarified during the media briefing that dispatchers “cannot relay anything other than what is being communicated” to them via telephone.

He mentioned that they are informed about what should be reported, but they also know how to read between the lines and have a well-experienced dispatcher with good instincts.

DePape was present while attempting to surreptitiously break into the report, as Pelosi came from this case. The only information that had been relayed over the phone, reflecting what the initial dispatch officers would receive, was the recording.

When officers arrived at their home minutes later, Pelosi struck DePape on the head with a hammer, bringing an end to the struggle witnessed by DePape and Pelosi.

Contrary to claims, DePape arrived in his underwear when officers, specifically clothed, were charging him with documents. This commentator, Williams K. Terrence, is a conservative who dislikes individuals like DePape who wear shorts. Additionally, it is important to note that DePape’s clothing choice was contrary to expectations.

Upon the arrival of the officers, DePape, dressed in brief trousers, aggressively approached Paul Pelosi with a hammer, as depicted in the body-cam footage of the San Francisco Police. The U.S. Capitol Police surveillance video, released by the San Francisco Superior Court on Jan. 27, revealed DePape unlawfully entering the Pelosi residence.

What We Understand About DePape

According to news organizations that spoke with multiple members of his family, DePape, who had become distant from someone, moved from British Columbia, Canada to the United States approximately two decades ago in order to pursue a romantic involvement.

As per the criminal complaint lodged against him, DePape, before the assault on Pelosi, resided in the garage of a residence in Richmond, California. Richmond is situated within a distance of fewer than 20 miles from San Francisco. Occasionally without a permanent residence.

In 2018, Taub made an effort to kidnap a young person and is presently serving a term in a women’s penitentiary in California. Lately, DePape’s former partner, Oxane “Gypsy” Taub, who is an advocate for public nudity and brought up three kids with DePape, disclosed to the San Francisco Chronicle that DePape has been grappling with psychological disorder and substance misuse for an extended period.

According to news outlets, the sites that have reviewed and removed posts often repeated baseless conspiracy theories and made disparaging comments about religious and minority groups. News outlets have reported that DePape, who is believed to have registered a website and blog in his name, allegedly posted numerous troubling writings on his website and Facebook page in recent months.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, God Is Loving, DePape, who strongly criticized censorship by a privileged group of technology companies, government authorities, and media platforms, ran a WordPress blog. As recently as Aug. 25, DePape published blog posts with titles like ‘Communist Voodoo Science’ and ‘The Woke are racists with a guilty conscience.’

The Chronicle stated, “On a distinct website, DePape’s writings grew increasingly unpredictable.” “He promoted vaccine conspiracy theories and made assertions regarding election fraud, expressing that any journalist who challenged such assertions ‘should be forcefully removed and executed in public.'” DePape released a publication asserting that the conflict in Ukraine was a scheme to favor Jewish individuals just before the alleged hammer assault on Paul Pelosi.

The Associated Press reported that the recent antisemitic remarks made by Ye, the rapper previously known as Kayne West, and former President Donald Trump were defended in entries, but there were no explicit posts about [Nancy] Pelosi.

DePape’s Strategy

As per the charging documents from the federal authorities, DePape had intentions to apprehend and harm Speaker Pelosi upon entering the residence of the Pelosis on the morning of October 28th.

He had arrived with cable ties, adhesive, cord, and at least one mallet.

“Nancy was certain that DePape would not have told the truth if she had broken her ‘kneecaps.’ She believed that he was lying and planning to hold her hostage. If Nancy were to talk and go, he would let her go, but if she lied, he would continue to hold her hostage.

According to the complaint, DePape informed FBI interviewers that he regarded Nancy as the ‘head of the group’ of falsehoods communicated by the Democratic Party. He “further clarified that if he were to fracture Nancy’s kneecaps, she would subsequently require assistance to enter Congress, which would demonstrate to other Members of Congress that there are repercussions for their actions.”

During the interview, DePape described the common rhetoric used by the right-wing media. He stated that after leaving Pelosi’s house, he did not call 911 as officers told him to surrender without the option. He emphasized that he was fighting against tyranny, much like the founding fathers of America who shared similar beliefs with the British.

Facebook does not have control over our content editorial. Our previous stories can be found here. FactCheck.Org is one of several organizations working with Facebook to debunk misinformation shared on social media: Editor’s note.


On October 29, 2022, the San Francisco Police Department issued a press release announcing the arrest of a suspect involved in a violent assault at Nancy Pelosi’s residence, who is the Speaker of the House.

Hammill, Drew. Spokesman, Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Press release. “Pelosi Spokesperson Statement on Paul Pelosi’s Successful Surgery Following Violent Assault.” 28 Oct 2022.

San Francisco Police Department. “San Francisco Police Press Conference on Assault Against Paul Pelosi.” C-SPAN. 28 Oct 2022.

Department of Justice. Press release. “Man Charged with Assault and Attempted Kidnapping Following Breaking and Entering of Pelosi Residence.” 31 Oct 2022.

Stocking, Galen, et al. “The Role of Alternative Social Media in the News and Information Environment.” Pew Research Center. 6 Oct 2022.

Rueca, Robert. Spokesperson, San Francisco Police Department. Email to FactCheck.Org. October 31, 2022.

KPIX CBS SF Bay Area. “S.F. District Attorney Jenkins counters false information regarding the Pelosi assault.” YouTube. 30 Oct 2022.

United States v. David Wayne DePape. Allegation. United States District Court for the Northern District of California.

Tolan, Casey, et al. “Accused assailant of Paul Pelosi shared numerous conspiracy theories.” Cnn.Com. 28 Oct 2022.

Biesecker, Michael and Bernard Condon. “Suspect in attack at Pelosi residence had shared information regarding QAnon.” Associated Press. 29 Oct 2022.

In the article “David DePape, the purported attacker of Pelosi, spread QAnon, alongside other radical and biased conspiracy theories,” written by Lin, Summer, et al., Published in the Los Angeles Times on October 28, 2022.

On October 31, 2022, an article titled “Paul Pelosi attack: From involvement in nudist causes to spreading online hostility, David DePape’s bizarre decline” was published in the San Francisco Chronicle, written by Rachel Swan and others.