California

A California judge orders the release of footage of the Pelosi attack

Footage of the attack on the husband of former US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is being released to the public after a judge on Wednesday denied prosecutors’ request that it be kept secret.

San Francisco Superior Court Judge Stephen M. Murphy ruled there was no reason to keep the footage secret, especially after prosecutors played it last month during a preliminary hearing in open court, according to Thomas R. Burke , a San Francisco-based attorney who represented The Associated Press and a host of other news outlets in their attempt to access the evidence.

The San Francisco Attorney’s Office turned the evidence over to Murphy Wednesday after a court hearing. Murphy asked the court clerk’s office to distribute it to the media, which could happen as early as Thursday.

Paul Pelosi, Nancy Pelosi’s husband, was sleeping at the couple’s San Francisco home on October 28 when someone broke in and hit him with a hammer. Prosecutors have charged 42-year-old David DePape in connection with the attack.

During a preliminary hearing last month, prosecutors played portions of Paul Pelosi’s 911 call, as well as footage from Capitol police surveillance cameras, body cameras worn by the two officers who arrived at the home, and videos of DePape’s interview with police.

But when news organizations asked for copies of that evidence, the San Francisco Attorney’s Office refused to release it. The attack, which came just days before the 2022 midterm elections, sparked intense public speculation that fueled the spread of false information.

Prosecutors argued that releasing the footage publicly would only allow people to manipulate it to spread false information.

However, the news outlets argued that it was crucial for prosecutors to publicly share their evidence, which could debunk any misinformation about the attack circulating around the internet.

“You don’t revoke public access just because you have concerns about conspiracy theories,” Burke said.

The San Francisco Attorney’s Office did not respond to an email from The Associated Press seeking comment.

News outlets that have requested the footage be released include The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Press Democrat, CNN, Fox News, CBS, ABC, NBC and KQED NPR affiliate station in San Francisco.

DePape pleaded not guilty to six counts last month, including attempted murder. Police said DePape told them there was “evil in Washington” and that he wanted to harm Nancy Pelosi because she was second in line for the presidency. His case is pending.

The Democrats lost their majority in the House of Representatives after the midterm elections. Republicans elected California Republican US Rep. Kevin McCarthy as their new speaker. Pelosi will remain in Congress, but she resigned as Democratic leader. She was replaced by Hakeem Jeffries from New York.

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