Washington / San Francisco (AP) – After the attack on the husband of US top politician Nancy Pelosi, the alleged perpetrator appeared in court for the first time yesterday. His attorney pleaded not guilty during the brief hearing in San Francisco, US media consistently reported from the courtroom.
The 42-year-old is accused of, among other things, attempted murder, burglary, abuse and deprivation of liberty of an elderly person and threatening an official. The court decided to initially detain the man with no possibility of bail.
A few days before the US general election, Paul Pelosi was attacked and seriously injured in the couple’s home in San Francisco. In the middle of the aggressive election campaign, the perpetrator broke in on Friday night, asked for Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic Chair of the House of Representatives, and brutally attacked her 82-year-old husband.
Target other politicians too
According to a court document released Monday, the man had planned to hold Nancy Pelosi hostage and fracture her kneecaps. That’s what he told the police. He wanted to force the Democrat into a wheelchair to show other members of Congress that their “actions have consequences”.
District Attorney Brooke Jenkins told CNN on Tuesday evening that the attacker had targeted other politicians in addition to Nancy Pelosi. “There were other officials who seemed to be his target, apparently he first showed up at the House of Representatives,” she said.
In a separate federal proceeding, the alleged perpetrator is charged with attempting to kidnap a public official and assaulting a family member of a public official. He could face decades in prison if convicted, according to the US Department of Justice.
Tat heats up election campaign in the USA
Meanwhile, individual Republicans used the attack for mockery in the election campaign. Rising Republican Kari Lake, for example, spoke about protecting schools from attackers during a campaign appearance in the state of Arizona on Monday and joked about the attack on Pelosi’s husband Paul.
Lake, who is running for Arizona’s governorship in the upcoming Nov. 8 US election, argued that if politicians and lawmakers were to be protected, children should be too. “Nancy Pelosi – well, she’s protected when she’s in DC,” Lake said, adding, “Obviously her house isn’t very well protected.” The audience responded with laughter.
The Republican governor of the state of Virginia, Glenn Youngkin, had previously referred to Nancy Pelosi and her husband during a campaign appearance and said: “There is no room for violence anywhere – but we will send her back so that she can be with him in California. »
According to recent polls, the Republicans have a good chance of gaining a majority in the House of Representatives. The attack increased fears of politically motivated violence in the United States. President Joe Biden drew a connection to Republican rhetoric surrounding his predecessor, Donald Trump.