An assailant broke into the home of prominent US politician Nancy Pelosi and injured her 82-year-old husband with a hammer. The Speaker of the House of Representatives was not at home at the time. The post ranks third in the US political hierarchy after President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
According to Pelosi's spokesman, Paul Pelosi's attacker was targeting the Democrat. On Friday morning, Paul Pelosi was violently attacked at his home by an assailant who "threatened to kill him while demanding to see the Speaker of the US House of Representatives," Speaker Drew Hammill said on Friday. The attacker repeated "Where's Nancy?" called, wrote the "New York Times" and the "Washington Post", citing officials. According to media reports, the man also wanted to tie down Paul Pelosi and wait for his wife to return.
According to the officials, the police were called to the house of Nancy and Paul Pelosi in San Francisco on Friday night. When the emergency services arrived, the attacker "violently" attacked the 82-year-old Pelosi with a hammer that both men had previously wrestled with. The police were able to overpower and arrest the attacker.
Paul Pelosi was taken to a hospital after the attack. Hammill added that he underwent successful surgery there for a fractured skull and serious injuries to his right arm and hands. "His doctors expect a full recovery."
Soon after the attack became known, media reports suggested that the attacker could be targeting Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker 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. 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.
The 42-year-old attacker is charged with attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and burglary, among other things. The suspect is still in the hospital, Police Chief Bill Scott said at a news conference on Friday evening. Scott said he could not yet publicly disclose the alleged motive for the crime. "This was not an accidental act," he said. "This was intentional and this is wrong." The incident should outrage everyone. The U.S. Capitol Police, San Francisco Police Department and the FBI are working together on the investigation.
Democrat Pelosi is a frequent target of verbal attacks from the American political right. Ex-President Trump has been calling her "Crazy Nancy" for years and has made her a hate figure for his supporters over the years.
When the US Capitol was stormed on January 6, 2021, Trump's supporters searched for Pelosi and ransacked her office. Meanwhile, she tried to organize the protection of the building from a safe place, as recently published videos showed. In the current campaign for the congressional elections on November 8, radical Republicans are targeting their opponents for their alleged closeness to Pelosi.
The attack ahead of what is known as the Midterms caused shocked reactions. President Biden called the act "despicable" during a campaign appearance in Philadelphia. Political violence has "no place" in the United States, he said. "Enough is enough is enough." He had previously spoken to Nancy Pelosi on the phone and said he was praying for Paul Pelosi and the family.
On Friday, prominent Republicans condemned Trump's Vice President Mike Pence and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is said to have privately contacted Pelosi. Trump posted on his Twitter copy Truth Social but did not comment on the attack.
Senior Republican Rep. Steve Scalise said he was "disgusted" by the attack. "Violence has no place in this country. I pray 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.
Nancy Pelosi, whose constituency is in San Francisco, has been 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.