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Man charged in Paul Pelosi assault is reportedly in US illegally; he told authorities that he planned to hold Nancy Pelosi hostage and break 'her kneecaps' if she 'lied'

Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

David DePape, the man accused of attacking House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband Paul Pelosi with a hammer in the couple's San Francisco home last week, was in the U.S. unlawfully due to a "longtime" visa overstay, Fox News reported, citing a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement source.

The Democratic congresswoman was not in San Francisco when the incident took place, according to a statement from spokesperson Drew Hammill. But in an affidavit, an FBI special agent noted that during a recorded interview with the San Francisco Police Department, the man said that he had intended to keep the congresswoman hostage and break the lawmaker's "kneecaps" in the event that she "lied."

"DEPAPE stated that he was going to hold Nancy hostage and talk to her. If Nancy were to tell DEPAPE the 'truth,' he would let her go, and if she 'lied,' he was going to break 'her kneecaps.' DEPAPE was certain that Nancy would not have told the 'truth.' In the course of the interview, DEPAPE articulated he viewed Nancy as the 'leader of the pack' of lies told by the Democratic Party," the affidavit states. "DEPAPE also later explained that by breaking Nancy's kneecaps, she would then have to be wheeled into Congress, which would show other Members of Congress there were consequences to actions. DEPAPE also explained generally that he wanted to use Nancy to lure another individual to DEPAPE."

The man noted that he had broken into the residence via a glass door, according to the affidavit.

DePape has been charged in connection with the episode.

"The complaint charges DePape with one count of assault of an immediate family member of a United States official with the intent to retaliate against the official on account of the performance of official duties, which carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison," according to a press release from the U.S. attorney's office for the Northern District of California. "DePape is also charged with one count of attempted kidnapping of a United States official on account of the performance of official duties, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison."

Paul Pelosi underwent surgery following the attack, but is expected to recover. "Mr. Pelosi was admitted to Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital where he underwent successful surgery to repair a skull fracture and serious injuries to his right arm and hands. His doctors expect a full recovery," Hammill said in a statement last week.

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