May 11, 2024 - Politics & Policy

DOJ asks 40-year sentence for man who assaulted Nancy Pelosi's husband

Former US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and her husband Paul Pelosi

Former House speaker Nancy Pelosi and her husband Paul Pelosi attend the Vanity Fair Oscars Party on March 10, 2024. Photo: Michael Tran/AFP via Getty Images

The Justice Department is asking that the man convicted of kidnapping and assaulting Paul Pelosi, the husband of Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), be sentenced to 40 years.

The big picture: Prosecutors say in a 20-page sentencing memo filed Friday that David DePape's sentencing should be used to discourage others from enacting political violence.

  • DePape, who broke into the Pelosi home, earlier told police he wanted to break Pelosi's kneecaps to "show other Members of Congress there were consequences to actions."

What they're saying: "The defendant planned a violent hostage-taking of the Speaker Emerita, and then nearly killed her husband," prosecutors say in the memo.

  • "The defendant planned and unleashed violence and has stayed true to his belief that his actions were necessary."
  • U.S. attorney Ismail Ramsey and assistant U.S. attorneys Helen Gilbert and Laura Horn signed the memo, arguing that "sentencing factors compel the statutory maximums recommended here."
  • The prosecutors also say the sentencing factors "demonstrate that the 30 years maximum on the count with the most significant statutory maximum is not sufficient to meet the sentencing goals."

Go deeper: Paul Pelosi testifies at federal trial about "traumatic" attack

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