The man accused of attacking the husband of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told police he wanted to hold her hostage and “break her kneecaps”, according to court papers.
The US Justice Department has charged David DePape, 42, with assault and attempted kidnapping. The two counts carry up to 50 years in prison, the department said.
According to the court papers, DePape told police he was going to hold Mrs Pelosi hostage and talk to her.
If she told him the “truth,” he would let her go, and if she “lied” he was going to “break her kneecaps”.
DePape is accused of breaking into the Pelosi household in San Francisco on Friday and assaulting Paul Pelosi, 82.
He confronted Mr Pelosi as he slept in the couple’s bedroom, according to the federal affidavit filed in court on Monday.
DePape demanded to speak to “Nancy” and when Mr Pelosi said she was not there, he said he would wait, even after being told she would not be home for some days.
It said DePape said he viewed Mrs Pelosi as the “leader of the pack” of lies told by the Democratic Party.
He is also said to have explained that by breaking her kneecaps, she would then have to be wheeled into Congress, which would show other members of congress there were consequences to their actions.
Police said officers were called to the house for a “wellbeing check” early on Friday and arrived to find both men holding the hammer.
They said the suspect then pulled the hammer away from Mr Pelosi and used it to “violently assault” him, before being tackled by officers.
‘Where is Nancy?’
At some point, the suspect searched for the Democrat leader shouting: “Where is Nancy? Where is Nancy?”
Mr Pelosi underwent surgery for a skull fracture and injuries to his hands and right arm, his wife’s office said. Doctors expect a full recovery.
Police recovered zip ties in Mr Pelosi’s bedroom as well as a roll of tape, white rope, a hammer, one pair of rubber and cloth gloves and a journal in DePape’s backpack, the Justice Department said.
Mrs Pelosi, the Democratic speaker of the US House of Representatives, and second-in-line to the presidency, was in Washington DC at the time, having recently returned from a security summit in Europe.
The announcement of the federal charges comes as San Francisco’s district attorney is set to announce state criminal charges against DePape.
He was arrested on Friday on suspicion of attempted murder, elder abuse and burglary. He is expected to be arraigned on state charges on Tuesday.