SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A San Francisco judge disclosed Friday that she had worked with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s daughter in the 1990s, giving prosecutors and the public defender’s office the opportunity to object to her role in the case against a man who is accused of breaking into the Pelosi home, beating her husband and seeking to kidnap the speaker.
Paul Pelosi, 82, was released from the hospital Thursday after prosecutors said he was knocked unconscious when he was hit with a hammer and woke up in a pool of his own blood in the family’s Pacific Heights home on Oct. 28.
David DePape, 42, is being held without bail on state charges of attempted murder, burglary and elder abuse. DePape’s public defender, Adam Lipson, entered a not guilty plea on his behalf earlier this week and has pledged to vigorously defend him.
Judge Loretta “Lori” Giorgi said she and Christine Pelosi had worked together in the San Francisco city attorney’s office in the 1990s but had not interacted in years. Christine is one of the Pelosis’ five adult children and while she has never held elected office, she’s considered to be a potential successor when Pelosi retires.
In court filings released earlier this week, officials said DePape broke into the home, carrying zip ties, tape and a rope in a backpack. He woke up Paul Pelosi and demanded to talk to “Nancy,” who was out of town. Two officers who raced to the home after Paul Pelosi’s 911 call witnessed DePape hit him in the head with the hammer.
No one objected during Friday’s hearing to Giorgi’s ties to the Pelosi family but either side could in the future and San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins said the case might be heard by another judge regardless. The public defender’s office did not immediately have a comment.
“I do want to make a disclosure on the record that the daughter of Mr. Pelosi, Christine Pelosi, and I were in the city attorney’s office together in the 90s,” Giorgi told the court. “And I have disclosed to counsel the interactions that I had when she and I were together. I haven’t seen or heard or talked to Ms. Pelosi after she left the office. I do see her here today.”
Giorgi worked in the city attorney’s office from 1985 to 2006, when she was appointed to the bench. She rose to the rank of deputy city attorney and was the office’s public integrity chief.
Christine Pelosi attended Friday’s hearing but seemed to leave through a back door in order to avoid media waiting in the hallway. She entered the courtroom right before the proceeding started and sat in the front row away from reporters.
Christine Pelosi is active in California and national Democratic politics. In 2019, she released a book about her mother titled “The Nancy Pelosi Way.” In 2017, as chair of the California Democratic Party’s women’s caucus, she was actively involved in the #MeToo movement as it took shape in the state capital.
The city attorney’s office did not immediately respond to a request for details of Giorgi and Christine Pelosi’s employment.
DePape, who is Canadian, overstayed his authorized entry to the U.S. more than two decades ago. He should have been blocked from getting back into the country when he returned a few times over the years, according to a U.S. official who spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter.
Associated Press writers Stefanie Dazio in Los Angeles, Elliot Spagat in San Diego and Kathleen Ronayne in Sacramento, California, contributed to this story.
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