Security cameras caught the intruder who entered House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) San Francisco home and assaulted her husband Paul, but U.S. Capitol Police only saw that footage after the incident had occurred, the Washington Examiner reported.
That revelation comes amid legitimate questions about how the alleged assailant, David DePape, had managed to gain entry to the residence undetected early Friday morning, given Speaker Pelosi’s top political status and the presumption of a high level of security measures in place to keep her safe.
Cameras not actively monitored at time of attack
The Washington Post reported exclusively that, according to anonymous law enforcement sources, the Capitol Police maintain numerous surveillance cameras around Speaker Pelosi’s San Francisco home that are actively monitored at all times — when the top-ranked politician is home.
Since Pelosi was in Washington D.C. at the time that her husband was attacked across the country, those cameras were not being actively monitored by the “handful of officers” on duty in Washington D.C., and it was only noticed that something was wrong after local police had already arrived at the home, at which point all of the prior footage was reviewed and the suspect was spotted entering the home.
The Post noted that the cameras around Pelosi’s home are just a few of the roughly 1,800 video feeds that Capitol Police monitor — the vast majority of which cover the 60-acre Capitol complex — and that the department has vowed to step up its surveillance and security posture even as it is woefully understaffed amid heightened political tensions and a dramatic increase in threats against elected politicians.
Home security alarm system
It is a fair presumption that Speaker Pelosi’s home is equipped with a security alarm system in addition to the surveillance cameras, and questions have also been raised about why, apparently, that alarm system was not triggered by the alleged break-in by DePape.
The Washington Post reported that law enforcement officials have declined to formally confirm or deny the presence of a security alarm system at the Pelosi residence, but anonymous sources told the outlet that the house did indeed have an alarm system installed that, if triggered, would immediately notify both the Capitol Police and the San Francisco Police Department.
An unnamed source said the Capitol Police never received an alert from the Pelosi home’s alarm system and the SFPD has refused to comment in that regard, which raises questions as to whether the system may have malfunctioned or perhaps was simply not armed at the time that the incident occurred sometime after 2:00 am PT.
Since the attack occurred, however, reports indicate that the security presence around the Pelosi residence has been ramped up substantially, and informal talks are underway in D.C. — both in Congress and among the Capitol Police — about possible improvements that could be made with regard to the House Speaker and other threatened members of Congress more generally.
DePape faces serious federal and state felony charges
Meanwhile, the Justice Department announced Monday that it had charged DePape with two major federal felonies related to assault and attempted kidnapping that, if convicted, could land him behind bars in federal prison for up to 50 years.
DePape is said to have confessed to a plan to kidnap and possibly torture or kill Speaker Pelosi, and reportedly was armed with two hammers, a roll of tape, gloves, a length of rope, and zip ties.
The Examiner noted that the alleged assailant also faces a slew of felony charges at the state level, to which he pleaded not guilty in a hearing on Tuesday.