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Alleged Pelosi attacker was in U.S. illegally, immigration officials confirm

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks at her weekly press conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on June 16, 2022. (Yuri Gripas/Abaca Press/TNS)
November 03, 2022

The man who allegedly broke into House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s house with a hammer and zipties, David DePape, is a Canadian citizen in the U.S. illegally and may be deported after his criminal cases are over.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) confirmed to the Washington Post that it had filed an “immigration detainer” on DePape, a Canadian national. The detainer will notify the agency when DePape is set to be released from San Francisco County Jail, so that he may then be deported.

The Canadian government confirmed it is involved in the case.

“Canadian officials are engaging with local authorities to obtain more information,” said Global Affairs Canada spokeswoman Charlotte MacLeod. “Due to privacy considerations, no further information can be disclosed.”

DePape, 42, is accused of breaking into Pelosi’s home in the early hours of Friday, Oct. 28 and waking her husband, Paul, to ask where he could find “Nancy.” After police arrived, DePape struck Paul Pelosi in the head with a hammer during a physical struggle, knocking him unconscious.

DePape later told authorities he wanted to “hold Nancy hostage” and break “her kneecaps” if she lied to him, but let her go if she told the “truth.”

Federal records show DePape legally entered the U.S. on March 8, 2008 through an official port of entry in Mexico, the Post reported. He was admitted as a “temporary visitor” traveling for pleasure, according to the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees ICE.

DHS did not specify when DePape’s authorization to be in the U.S. expired, but Canadians are usually admitted into the U.S. for pleasure for up to six months, the Post reported.

DePape grew up in Powell River, a city of about 14,000 on the western edge of Canada in British Columbia, residents there told Global News. His path from there to Mexico and then to San Francisco is not clear, the Post reported.

DePape has been federally charged with attempted kidnapping and assault. He has also plead not guilty to several state charges, including attempted murder, burglary, assault and false imprisonment, CNBC reported.