Paul Pelosi, the husband of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, wasassaulted after a home invasion on Friday. Nancy Pelosi has been the victim of targeted threats in the past, though nothing quite as serious as this. Paul Pelosi was taken to the hospital and is expected to recover fully. The assailant is in custody awaiting further investigation.
Kevin Breuninger; October 28, 2022
Paul Pelosi, the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, was “violently assaulted” by a person who broke into the couple’s San Francisco home early Friday morning, the speaker’s office said in a statement.
“The assailant is in custody and the motivation for the attack is under investigation,” read the statement from Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill.
Paul Pelosi, 82, “was taken to the hospital, where he is receiving excellent medical care and is expected to make a full recovery. The Speaker was not in San Francisco at the time,” Hammill said.
The suspect used a hammer in the attack, NBC News reported, citing two people briefed on the incident.
The San Francisco Police Department did not immediately respond to CNBC’s inquiries. Sgt. Adam Lobsinger, a public information officer for the department, tweeted that police responded to a home break-in call at 2:27 a.m. PT where a man matching Pelosi’s age was attacked.
SFPD Chief William Scott will lead a press conference at department headquarters at 9:30 a.m. PT, Lobsinger said.
The U.S. Capitol Police said it is assisting the San Francisco police and the FBI with a joint investigation.
“The motivation for the attack is still under investigation,” USCP said in a press release. The department noted that Nancy Pelosi was in Washington, D.C., with her protective detail when the break-in occurred.
The White House said that President Joe Biden is “praying for Paul Pelosi and for Speaker Pelosi’s whole family.”
The president called Nancy Pelosi Friday morning to “express his support after this horrible attack,” the White House said in a statement, adding that Biden “continues to condemn all violence, and asks that the family’s desire for privacy be respected.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., in a statement called the attack “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,” Schumer’s statement said.
Sen. Mitch McConnell, the chamber’s Republican leader, said he was “horrified and disgusted by the reports.”
It’s not the first time the Democratic House speaker, also 82, has been targeted with threats.
A North Carolina man, Cleveland Meredith, was sentenced last December to 28 months in prison after pleading guilty to threatening to shoot Pelosi. Meredith, 53, had traveled to Washington on Jan. 6, 2021, planning to attend rallies on that day, but didn’t arrive until the evening, when the pro-Trump riot at the U.S. Capitol had been tamped down.
Another man, 77-year-old Steven Martis of Arizona, was sentenced in February to 21 months behind bars for threatening to kill Pelosi in messages to her D.C. office.
And in April, Florida man Paul Hoeffer, 60, was sentenced to 18 months in prison for phone calls in which he threatened to behead Pelosi and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., another frequent target of criticism from the political right.
The attack on Paul Pelosi comes as the U.S. Capitol Police record a drastic rise in threat cases — a 144% increase from 2017 to 2021, according to the department.
Other high-profile public figures have also recently come under threat. In June, California man Nicholas Roske, 26, was arrested and charged with attempted murder after allegedly traveling to the Maryland home of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and telling police he intended to kill him.
The Department of Homeland Security said in June that the U.S. is in a “heightened threat environment” that was expected to grow “more dynamic” in the coming months.
Both Paul and Nancy Pelosi have also come under scrutiny for their investment activities, after the House speaker said she opposed legislation that would ban members of Congress from owning individual stocks. She later reversed her stance on the stock-trading ban.