The man accused in the attack of Paul Pelosi, the husband of the former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, made a disturbing surprise phone call to a California television station on Friday and said that he had no remorse about his actions last October. He suggested that he regretted not causing more harm.
The man, David DePape, who has been charged in the attack against Mr. Pelosi, called a reporter for KTVU from his San Francisco County Jail cell on Friday and said that he was only “sorry I didn’t get more of them.” The station is a Fox affiliate in the Bay Area.
His remarks to the reporter, Amber Lee, who said on-air that the statements sounded scripted, came on the same day that a San Francisco court released police body camera footage showing the frenzied moment of the attack. The call to Ms. Lee was unexpected, the station reported, but Ms. Lee had previously reached out to him following his arrest last year.
The body camera footage shows that when officers approached the couple’s San Francisco home in the early hours of Oct. 28, they found the assailant and Mr. Pelosi standing calmly, each with a hand on a large hammer.
After officers demanded that the hammer be dropped, Mr. DePape wrested control of it, raised it above his head and slammed it into Mr. Pelosi’s skull.
It was an extraordinary depiction of a brutal act of political violence, which stemmed from an attempt to abduct Ms. Pelosi, who at the time was second in line to the presidency. Mr. Pelosi spent six days in a San Francisco hospital and underwent surgery for a skull fracture.
Mr. DePape’s meandering remarks to KTVU further reveal how he was influenced to carry out the attack by right-wing conspiracy theories, such as lies about the 2020 election being stolen. At the time of the attack, he had been estranged from family, and he was previously homeless for a period of time.
At the start of the call, which lasted about five minutes, Mr. DePape told Ms. Lee he wanted to make a statement, the station reported.
“Our reporter was not allowed to challenge his statements or to ask follow-up questions,” KTVU reported. “DePape said he didn’t want to jeopardize his case.”
It was not immediately clear whether the bar against follow-up questions was a precondition of hearing from him. Ms. Lee and a representative for the station could not immediately be reached on Saturday. A public defender representing Mr. DePape could not immediately be reached on Saturday.
Mr. DePape told the station that he “should have come better prepared” on the day of the attack. He added that the people “killing” freedom “have names and addresses,” and he sought to “have a heart-to-heart chat about their bad behavior.”
In an interview with the police immediately after the attack, Mr. DePape said he had been looking for Ms. Pelosi, a political figure who for decades has been demonized and dehumanized by Republicans, and that he planned to kidnap her, break her kneecaps and see her “wheeled into Congress.”
Ms. Pelosi was not home the night of the attack.
Mr. DePape told the police: “I’m not trying to, like, get away with it. I know exactly what I did.”
He faces numerous felony charges in state court, including attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon. He also faces federal charges of attempted kidnapping of a federal officer and assault on a family member of a federal official. If convicted, he faces the possibility of life in prison.