Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi said on Monday (Nov 7) the recent attack on her husband by a hammer-wielding intruder in their home was especially painful to her knowing she was "the target" and would factor into her decision about when to retire from Congress.
Appearing on CNN in her first televised interview since her husband, Paul, suffered skull fractures and other injuries in the Oct 28 assault, she said the assault stemmed from the same strain of "misrepresentation" that led a mob to storm the US Capital on Jan 6, 2021.
Choking back tears, Pelosi recounted the bewildering moment when she was awakened by US Capitol police at her Washington, DC apartment on the morning her 82-year-old partner was attacked and informed of the violent break-in at their San Francisco home.
"For me, the really hard part" was knowing that she was the intruder's intended victim, the 82-year-old said in the interview. "Because Paul was not the target, and he is the one who is paying the price."
Asked by CNN anchor Anderson Cooper whether she had made up her mind about whether to retire from Congress and her post as speaker, if the Democrats lose their thin House majority in Tuesday's midterm elections, Pelosi demurred.
However, she told him, "I have to say, my decision will be affected by what happened the last week or two."
Pressed by Cooper if she was referring to the attack on her husband, the speaker replied, "Yes."
"And it will be impacted by - but - let me say this," she added without finishing her thought, and saying that she felt "blessed" by her 35 years of public service in the House.
Court affidavits filed by prosecutors with charges against the suspect, David Wayne DePape, 42, say he told police after his arrest that he had planned to kidnap the speaker, interrogate her and break her kneecaps if she "lied".
DePape is accused of forcing his way into the couple's home and creeping upstairs to a bedroom where he awakened Paul from his sleep demanding to see the speaker, who had flown back to Washington the night before.
Paul managed to place an emergency-911 call, and police arrived just in time to witness the intruder club the real estate and venture capitalist over the head with a hammer, according to court documents.
DePape has been charged in federal court with attempted kidnapping and assault.
He has pleaded not guilty in a California state court to separate charges of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, burglary, elder abuse, false imprisonment and threatening a public official.