A potential juror being screened for the case involving the attack on U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s husband offered a take that is sure to result in them being rejected.
Jury selection began Monday in the federal trial of David DePape, who is accused of breaking into the Democratic lawmaker’s home in October 2022 and assaulting Paul Pelosi with a hammer, and one juror being questioned said Mr. Pelosi “deserved harsh treatment,” according to ABC 7 News.
Paul Pelosi suffered a fractured skull and injuries to his arms and legs during the attack, while DePape was charged with federal assault and attempted kidnapping charges — he pleaded not guilty.
Other jurors expressed frustration over the Pelosi’s stock trading success, saying the powerful couple “have privileges they use for financial gain.” Despite this take, the jurors said they could remain impartial, the ABC affiliate reported.
“The reality is, San Francisco has a wide variety of people who are for and against that family in general,” veteran defense attorney Adam Gasner told ABC 7 News. “What we really fear is that people will hide those views and say they can be fair when they really can’t.”
The trial is set to begin on Thursday, with a pool of around 100 prospective jurors being screened on Monday — Paul Pelosi is scheduled to testify next Monday. The affiliate said the “diverse” group included “people of all ages and professions, including students and X (Twitter) employees,” though there appeared to be more men than women.
The pool will be narrowed down to 12 people and two alternates, which will almost certainly not include those who “discussed their extensive knowledge about QAnon.”
“This is the time for people to express their bias, this is the time for people to truthfully say how they feel,” Gasner added.
DePape, 43, is represented by a public defender, who failed to get the trial moved to Eureka after arguing that the extensive media attention and Nancy Pelosi’s popularity would prohibit DePape from getting a fair trial in San Francisco.
“San Francisco is a big and diverse county, Eureka for example is a small and not so diverse county, but I think the reality is there’s a lot of San Franciscans here that will be fair,” Gasner opined.
The attack drew plenty of scrutiny when SFPD officers showed up at the front door and found Paul Pelosi and DePape standing before them, each with a hand on a hammer. Pelosi was in his underwear and smiling in the body cam footage. He did not indicate to the police officers that he was in distress. When both were instructed to drop the hammer, that’s when DePape is seen attacking Pelosi.
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