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Pelosi’s alleged assailant has published several conspiracy theories

Pelosi’s alleged assailant has published several conspiracy theories



CNN

A person who makes predictions attacked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband posted memes and conspiracy theories on Facebook early Friday about Covid vaccines, the 2020 election and the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol, and an acquaintance told CNN it was “out of touch with reality.”

David DePape, 42, has been identified by police as the suspect in the attack on Paul Pelosi at the speaker’s home in San Francisco on Friday.

Three of DePape’s relatives told CNN that DePape had been estranged from his family for years and confirmed that the Facebook account, which was taken down by the social media company on Friday, belonged to him.

A heart-shaped statue and a candle are lit in the window of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband Paul Pelosi's home in San Francisco.  Friday, October 28, 2022  Paul Pelosi was attacked and severely beaten.  The man was attacked with a hammer early Friday at his San Francisco home, according to people familiar with the investigation.  (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Hear the details of how Paul Pelosi’s 911 call led to his rescue

His stepfather, Gene DePape, said David DePape grew up in Powell River, British Columbia, and left Canada about 20 years ago to pursue the relationship that brought him to California.

“I don’t know what to think,” Mark DePape, the suspect’s brother, said of the alleged attack on his niece, Pelosi. “I hope it’s a scam. I don’t want to hear anything like that.”

People who knew DePape in California described him as a strange character.

A 2013 article The San Francisco Chronicle identified her as a “hemp jewelry maker” and said she lived with a nudist activist. Other photos was published According to the Chronicle, DePape was — fully clothed — at the nuptials on the steps of San Francisco City Hall.

Linda Schneider, a California resident, told CNN that she met DePapp about eight years ago and would stay at his house occasionally. When they met, she said, DePape was living in a Berkeley-area detention center and told her he was struggling with serious drug addiction but was “trying to build a new life for himself.”

She said he was very shy. “He went and said he couldn’t even have a bank account because he was afraid to talk to the teller,” Schneider said.

But Schneider later received “really disturbing” emails from DePape in which he seemed “megalomaniacal and out of touch with reality,” he said. She said she stopped talking to him because “it seemed too dangerous” and recalled that he “used the Bible as an excuse to do harm.”

DePape’s social media presence has been the subject of conspiracy theories in recent years, painting a picture of someone on a troubling trajectory.

Last year, David DePape posted links to several videos on his Facebook page that My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell falsely claimed the 2020 election was rigged. Other posts included transphobic images and links to websites claiming that Covid vaccines are deadly. “The death rate will rise,” one post read.

DePape also posted links to YouTube videos “Democrat FARCE Commission Investigating Jan. 6 Capitol Riot IS BACK IN Congress!!!” and “The Global Elites Plan to Take Control of Your Money!” (It was open)”

Two days after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of killing George Floyd, DePape wrote that the trial was a “modern-day lynching” that falsely suggested Floyd died of a drug overdose.

He also published content about the “Great Recovery” – a widely held conspiracy theory that global elites are using the coronavirus to usher in a new world order in which they gain more power and take over the masses. He also complained that the politicians who promised to get votes from the voters “are offering bribes to further enslave you.”

Most of the public posts on DePape’s Facebook page were in 2021. In the past, DePape has also published comments about religion, including saying that Jesus is the anti-Christian. None of the public records mention Pelosi.

Two other blogs under the username “daviddepape” recently posted similar content on DePape’s Facebook page.

In August 2022, in a series of blog posts on WordPress.com, the author complained about massive technological censorship and published statements such as “Hitleria was not wrong”. The site has been offline since then.

Another blog called “Daviddepape” has anti-Semitic scrubs and content related to the QAnon conspiracy theory. One video posted on the site shows Pelosi shaking hands with former President Donald Trump during the impeachment hearing, while another video shows Pelosi and other politicians. The third video includes a clip of Pelosi speaking on the House floor.

Other posts in the past few weeks have featured videos accusing LGBTQ people of “waiting” for children and declaring that “any journalist who says there is no evidence of election fraud should be “dragged into the street and shot.” The most recent post — a link to a YouTube video comparing colleges to cults — went up a day before Pelosi’s attack.

CNN could not confirm whether DePape wrote the two blogs.

Another former acquaintance of DePape’s told CNN that she had been exposed to him for years about his behavior.

Laura Hayes, who lives in California, said she worked with DePapp for several months about a decade ago, making hemp bracelets while living in a warehouse in the Berkeley area. He said DePape sold the bracelets as a business.

“He was very strange. He didn’t make very good eye contact,” Hayes said. She remembers him saying, “she’s talking to angels and she’s going to have a hard time.” But he didn’t recall any particularly threatening comments, and said he didn’t think too much about it because “this is Berkeley,” a place where eccentric characters are rare.

Hayes, who is friends with DePapp on Facebook, called her recent posts “so phobic in so many ways” and filled with “so much anger.”

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