David DePape—the 42-year old California man who attacked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband Paul Pelosi during a home invasion in October—had a an unexpected A-list celebrity on his hit list.
While Speaker Pelosi was the original target of the attack that ended with DePape's arrest, she was just one target on a list that included California Governor Gavin Newsom, attorney Hunter Biden and Academy Award-winning actor Tom Hanks.
Buzzfeed News reporter Stephanie K. Baer confirmed an audio recording of DePape's interrogation following the October 28 attack on Paul Pelosi was played during his preliminary hearing.
DePape can be heard telling detectives that he was targeting Speaker Pelosi and others because they were “submitting fake evidence to spy on” former Republican President Donald Trump's campaign.
DePape—who fell hook, line and sinker for Trump's lies about the integrity of the 2020 general election—claimed the people on his personal hit list "go from one crime to another crime to another crime to another crime... until they were finally able to steal the election."
Paul Pelosi was attacked with a hammer at the couple's residence in the Pacific Heights neighborhood of San Francisco, California on October 28. He was seriously injured and underwent surgery for a fractured skull; his doctors expect him to make a full recovery.
DePape was arrested at the scene on suspicion of attempted homicide and other felonies. He had intended to harm Speaker Pelosi and yelled, "Where is Nancy, where is Nancy?" during the attack, according to police who arrested DePape at the scene.
DePape had embraced far-right political conspiracy theories including QAnon, Pizzagate, ideas related to COVID-19 vaccine misinformation, and Holocaust denial.
And one of those conspiracy theories happened to involve Hanks, who has been the target of conspiracy theories out of QAnon that baselessly accuse him of pedophilia.
QAnon's believers allege Democrats are part of a Satan-worshipping, baby-eating global pedophile ring that conspired against Trump during his time in office. Hanks, a prominent Democrat, is just one of a slew of Hollywood celebrities commonly cited in QAnon circles as members of this imagined pedophile cabal.
The allegations against Hanks are just a small part of the litany of allegations from the late Isaac Kappy, a struggling actor deified in QAnon circles for being a Hollywood "whistleblower." Kappy, who died in 2019, never provided evidence that Hanks exploited children.
The news that Hanks was one of DePape's intended targets was not exactly a surprise to those acquainted with QAnon conspiracies but it did inspire many to mock DePape and offer up a bit of dark humor.
DePape was charged with two federal crimes: assault of an immediate family member of a federal official with the intent to retaliate against the official on account of the performance of official duties; and attempted kidnapping of a federal official on account of the performance of official duties.
He was also charged with six state felonies, including attempted murder, residential burglary, and assault with a deadly weapon.
These facts have not stopped prominent Republicans from spreading conspiracy theories about the attack, such as suggesting it was a false flag operation.
Last month, Georgia Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene claimed Paul Pelosi was "brutally attacked by a drugged-out illegal alien that should have been deported," fueling GOP conspiracies blaming migrants for high crime rates.
Her claim is patently false yet mirrored recent behavior from billionaire Elon Musk, who shortly after acquiring Twitter shared an article from the far-right Santa Monica Observer claiming that Paul Pelosi was attacked by a lover he met at a bar in the middle of the night.
There is no truth to that allegation, and local authorities confirmed that Paul Pelosi and his attacker did not know each other.