Paul Pelosi Attack Video Release Leaves Democrats Fearing the Worst

A judge in California has ordered the release of footage showing the attack on Paul Pelosi, husband of former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, after a number of news outlets sought the video.

Stephen M. Murphy, judge for the Superior Court of San Francisco County, ruled on Wednesday that the footage should be made available because prosecutors had played it during a preliminary hearing in open court in December 2022.

However, the San Francisco District Attorney's Office opposed the release of the footage and argued that the video could be manipulated and used to spread misinformation about the October 28 attack and the suspect, David DePape.

Paul and Nancy Pelosi in Beverly Hills
Former Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, right, and her husband Paul arrive for the Recording Academy and Clive Davis pre-Grammy gala at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills, California on January 25, 2020. A judge has ordered the release of footage from the October 28 attack on Paul Pelosi. MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images

The footage includes body-camera video captured by the two police officers who responded to the attack and footage by Capitol Police surveillance cameras.

News outlets including the Associated Press (AP), The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times and others sought the release of the footage.

The incident at home left Paul Pelosi with a fractured skull, and it has been the subject of conspiracy theories, with some high-profile conservatives expressing doubts about the publicly available information about the attack.

Representative Pelosi, who was speaker of the House until the new Congress met earlier this January, has also long been subject to criticism and mockery on the right, and she remains a member of the House.

False information and sometimes lurid conspiracy theories quickly spread online following the attack, and Democrats may have reason to be concerned that the footage could be altered and used to spread further misinformation.

In October, Twitter owner Elon Musk shared a story from what The Washington Post has described as a "fringe news outlet" that claimed the attack had stemmed from "a dispute with a male prostitute."

Musk later deleted that tweet, and there is no evidence to support the suggestion in the article he shared. Donald Trump Jr., son of former President Donald Trump, also spread socia -media posts that hinted at a pre-existing relationship between DePape and Paul Pelosi.

Suggestions that both men were in their underwear at the time of the incident are also false. The district attorney stated in October that Paul Pelosi "was wearing a loose-fitting pajama shirt and boxer shorts." He was also asleep before the break-in occurred. DePape was reportedly wearing shorts.

Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene defended Musk in a tweet and described the incident as "Paul Pelosi's friend attacking him with a hammer."

However, Pelosi, 82, made clear to police that he did not know his alleged attacker. According to the criminal complaint against DePape, the suspect "stated that he broke into the house through a glass door, which was a difficult task that required the use of a hammer."

DePape is accused of attacking Paul Pelosi with the hammer and has pleaded not guilty to state charges, including attempted murder, and to federal kidnapping and assault charges.

Newsweek has asked Nancy Pelosi's office for comment.