David DePape, who is accused of breaking into the San Francisco home of Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and attacking her husband Paul with a hammer while the then-House Speaker was out of town last year, appeared in court on Monday as jury selection kicked off for the trial set to begin this week.
The 43-year-old DePape donned a navy crew neck sweater and a ponytail, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, while sitting quietly as about 100 potential jurors shuffled into the Northern District of California courthouse. In the federal case, he is charged with attempted kidnapping of a federal official and assault on the immediate family of a federal official.
The Chronicle reported DePape could face up to life in prison if convicted.
Questions potential jurors faced ranged from their knowledge of the Pelosis’ stock market dealings, their views on conservatism, QAnon conspiracy theories and more, according to the Chronicle, as federal prosecutors and public defenders attempted to weed out those who may be biased for or against the couple.
At least two potential jurors said they believed the Pelosis used “special privileges” for financial gain, while others answered about how they felt about horror movies, San Francisco’s “doom loop,” a term used to describe the city’s spiral of empty offices and unaffordable housing, and the prospect of coming to the notorious Tenderloin District each day for trial.
The pool of potential jurors had narrowed to around 12 people by the end of the day Monday, The Independent reported, adding that the group of finalists includes students and employees of X. According to the newspaper, one potential juror had told the courtroom he felt Paul Pelosi “deserved harsh treatment.” Opening statements are scheduled to begin as soon as Thursday, and Nancy and Paul Pelosi are both expected to testify at the trial expected to stretch until next week.
DePape’s attorneys had argued that he could not get a fair trial in San Francisco, where Nancy Pelosi has represented for more than 35 years in Congress, and pushed to have the venue moved more than 100 miles away to Eureka. U.S. District Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley shot down that request over the summer.
KRON noted that DePape, a Canadian citizen, could face deportation by Immigration and Customs Enforcement if convicted.
DePape has pleaded not guilty in both the federal and state cases.
The San Francisco District Attorney’s Office has charged DePape with attempted murder, first-degree residential burglary and other felony counts related to the Oct. 28, 2022, incident that police say left Paul Pelosi with a fractured skull and serious injuries to his right arm and hands. On the state charges, DePape could face up to 13 years in prison if convicted.