Dhe husband of Democratic US top politician Nancy Pelosi was injured with a hammer in a nighttime burglary – but the attacker may have been targeting the politician. The San Francisco police initially did not comment on the reports and did not allow questions at a brief press conference. Officers drove to the Pelosis’ home around 2:30 a.m., Police Chief William Scott said. When they arrived, the attacker “violently” attacked 82-year-old Pelosi in front of the police officers with a hammer that both men had previously wrestled over.
CNN reported that Paul Pelosi dialed 911 himself on his phone. He was not able to report the attack directly, but the employee on the emergency hotline heard what was happening in the background and sent the police.
Far-right views and conspiracy theories
The police were able to overpower and arrest the attacker. The 42-year-old is charged with attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and burglary, among other things, Scott said. The motive of the man is therefore unclear.
However, media reports suggested that the attacker could be targeting Nancy Pelosi, the leader of the US House of Representatives and one of the most powerful politicians in the country, a week and a half before the midterm elections. Multiple media outlets reported the man shouted, “Where’s Nancy?” According to the Wall Street Journal, the arrested man had previously spread right-wing extremist views and conspiracy theories on online platforms, including about the corona pandemic.
Nancy Pelosi was not in San Francisco at the time of the burglary. According to the US Capitol police, US President Joe Biden’s party friend was in the capital Washington.
Paul Pelosi was taken to a hospital after the attack. His wife’s office said he is expected to make a “full recovery.” No further details were given about his injuries. The U.S. Capitol Police, San Francisco Police Department and the FBI are working together on the investigation.
“Violence has no place in this country.”
The attack before what is known as the midterms on November 8 caused shocked reactions. President Biden spoke of a “terrible attack”. He prays for Paul Pelosi and the entire family and condemns all forms of violence. Senior Republican Rep. Steve Scalise said he was “disgusted” by the attack. “Violence has no place in this country. I am praying for Paul Pelosi’s full recovery.”
Politicians from both major US parties have expressed fears of political violence ahead of the election. According to Capitol Police, the number of threats against MPs has more than doubled since 2017. Democrat Pelosi is a frequent target of verbal attacks from the American political right. Ex-President Donald Trump keeps calling her “Crazy Nancy”.
Nancy Pelosi, whose constituency is in San Francisco, has served as Speaker of the House for the second time since 2019. The 82-year-old is the number three in the state after President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. However, she is likely to lose her top office soon: according to polls, the opposition Republicans are likely to wrest the majority in the House of Representatives from the Democrats in the congressional elections.