Security cameras at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco residence were not actively monitored by U.S. Capitol police the night of a violent home attack on her husband, the government agency said Wednesday. .
After reporting to The Times and other media that a security feed existed, Capitol Police said in a statement that the cameras “are being used to actively monitor the speaker’s residence in San Francisco around the clock. when she’s there,” but acknowledged that when she’s in Washington, D.C., with her security — as she was during Friday’s burglary — the “cameras weren’t actively monitored.”
Washington officials only noticed a problem at Pelosi’s home when they saw police car lights in the video feed, a law enforcement source told The Times. Details of the Capitol Police recording were first reported by the Washington Post.
Two other law enforcement sources said a police cruiser that remained parked outside the house after the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol was removed last year.
Friday, a private security guard noticed a man dressed in black and walking with a backpack near the home in Pelosis’ Pacific Heights around 2 a.m.
Authorities say the man was David DePape and the bag contained zip ties, a rope and a hammer.
His goal, according to federal prosecutors, was to kidnap and torture the Speaker of the House, and then possibly move on to other high-profile targets.
What he didn’t know was that Nancy Pelosi wasn’t home that morning and the only person in the house was her husband, Paul Pelosi.
The speaker’s absence – along with that of his security detail – made his home a much easier target. It also raised new questions on security measures for senior officials at a time of growing political divisions and growing threats.
In a five-page letter from Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose) to Capitol Police Chief J. Thomas Manger that was reviewed by The Times, Lofgren said the attack raises “questions important on security protections for members”. of Congress, especially those in the presidential line of succession.
The congresswoman, who chairs the Committee on House Administration, which oversees Capitol police, asked Manger about why the Capitol police turned down the FBI’s offer to help security and asked the agency to “reconsider this offer”.
She asked if the Capitol Police had any policies that place officers in regional or field offices and, if so, if those plans were in place and followed on the night of the attack on Paul Pelosi.
Lofgren asked if the Capitol Police routinely reviews the physical security details of the Speaker of the House and the President pro tempore of the Senate and if the agency collaborates with the Secret Service on “appropriate physical security requirements to protect these officials.” .
“The department has previously reported to the committee that the president receives the most threats of any member of Congress,” Lofgren wrote, adding that after the January 6 attacks there were persistent warnings from the National Terrorism Advisory System increased threats of political violence. Based on that, Lofgren asked if Capitol Police had a plan to extend coverage to the spouses and family of congressional leaders in the presidential line of succession — and if the agency hadn’t, it wanted to. know why.
Following Lofgren’s questions, the Capitol Police conduct an internal investigation and review of security arrangements.
A police source told The Times that San Francisco police regularly patrol the area but do not have a permanent station at the Pelosis home.
Prosecutors said DePape smashed the glass patio door in the Pelosis home around 2 a.m. Friday.
It’s unclear whether any alarms sounded in the home, but officials said after breaking in, DePape managed to get to the second floor.
There he found 82-year-old Paul Pelosi asleep and repeatedly shouted, “Where’s Nancy?” officials said.
Realizing the potential danger, Pelosi managed to make a quick, surreptitious phone call to 911 and left the line open, authorities said. A 911 dispatcher realized something was seriously wrong and immediately dispatched the police to the address. Officers learned there was a man inside the house named David, whom Pelosi did not know.
When an officer arrived at Pelosi’s doorstep and asked, “What’s going on here?” DePape and Pelosi were wrestling with a hammer, authorities said. Then DePape “snatched” him from Pelosi, “backed up and lunged at Mr. Pelosi,” hit him on the head with “full force with the hammer” and knocking him out, according to court filings seeking to deny DePape bail.
Officers disarmed DePape, according to the motion, while Pelosi lay in a pool of blood for three minutes before regaining consciousness.
DePape told an officer at the scene that “he acted alone,” the motion states.
DePape later revealed to San Francisco police that he planned to kidnap Nancy Pelosi and break her kneecaps, calling her a “ringleader” of the lies told by the Democratic Party, authorities said.
During his interview with police, DePape told investigators “by breaking Nancy’s kneecaps, she would then have to be transported to Congress, which would show other members of Congress that actions had consequences.”
“I came here to have a little chat with his wife,” DePape added, referring to Paul Pelosi, according to court documents released Tuesday. “I didn’t really mean to hurt her, but you know, it was a suicide mission.”
Prosecutors allege DePape had other targets in mind — including a Bay Area professor and prominent state and federal politicians and their families — when he broke into the Pelosis home. He planned to wait for the speaker to return, these documents show.
Pelosi’s attack has further heightened concerns about attacks on politicians after the January 6 insurrection at the United States Capitol.
There were 9,625 threats against members of Congress and their families last year, according to Capitol Police, more than double the number in 2017. A joint project of the Anti-Defamation League and the University of Princeton tracked 400 incidents of harassment against the local level. election, health and education officials in 43 states from January 2020 to mid-September of this year.
Capitol Police said the agency launched a security review following the Pelosi incident.
“We believe the current political climate requires more resources to provide additional layers of physical security for members of Congress,” Chief Manger said in a statement. “This plan would focus on adding layoffs to the measures already in place for the leadership of Congress. I hope you understand that we cannot disclose the details of these improvements because our country cannot afford to make it easy for potential bad actors.
“In this time of heightened political tension, we continue to monitor thousands of cases across the country in an effort to stop potential threats before they make headlines,” he added.
On Monday, the Justice Department filed federal assault and kidnapping charges against DePape and San Francisco Dist. Atti. Brooke Jenkins has accused DePape of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon, among other crimes.
Police did not offer a motive for the attack. But Jenkins said Monday that based on DePape’s statements and comments to Pelosi, it “was politically motivated.”
“It is very sad to see that we are once again at a point in history where people believe it is okay to express their political feelings through violence,” she said. “It goes to show that we need to calm things down. We have to decide that we are going to be more respectful as an American society.”