A San Francisco judge issued an order this week directing the release of footage from the attack on former Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Paul Pelosi, after denying prosecutors’ request to keep it secret.
The footage, which includes portions of Paul Pelosi’s 911 call and video from surveillance cameras, police body cameras, and video from the suspect’s interview with police, will be released to the public after the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office handed over the evidence to Superior Court Judge Stephen M. Murphy on Wednesday.
Paul Pelosi attack body camera footage to be released following court order https://t.co/7PbeQwZbZ7
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) January 25, 2023
The video was played in open court during a preliminary hearing last month, but when news organizations asked for copies of the evidence, the District Attorney’s Office refused to release it. The attack, which occurred just days before the 2022 midterm elections, led to intense speculation from the public about what happened inside the Pelosi home.
Prosecutors argued that publicly releasing the footage would only allow people to manipulate it to spread false information.
Media outlets argued that public disclosure of the evidence is vital for transparency and to confront allegedly false information being circulated on the internet about the attack. Thomas R. Burke, a San Francisco-based lawyer who represented The Associated Press and several other outlets in their attempt to access the evidence, said, “You don’t eliminate the public right of access just because of concerns about conspiracy theories.”
Prosecutors have alleged that Paul Pelosi was asleep inside the couple’s San Francisco home on October 28 when a home invader broke in and beat him with a hammer. They have charged 42-year-old David DePape as the alleged attacker.
DePape pleaded not guilty last month to six charges, including attempted murder. According to police, DePape said there was “evil in Washington” and he wanted to bring harm to Nancy Pelosi because she was second in line to the presidency.
The attack occurred just days before the 2022 midterm elections and significantly impacted the political landscape. Democrats lost their majority in the House of Representatives and Republicans elected Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) as Pelosi’s replacement as Speaker. Pelosi remained in Congress, but she stepped down as Democratic leader. She was replaced in that role by Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY).
The San Francisco District Attorney’s Office has declined to comment on the order directing the release of the video footage, saying it cannot publicly comment on rulings in pending cases.