David DePape, who was looking for the chosen one, said during his arrest that he intended to "break her kneecaps" if she lied, according to a federal court document.
He entered the couple's home in San Francisco on Friday morning, equipped in particular with rope, pairs of gloves and adhesive tape, the United States Department of Justice said in a press release.
So many elements which prove, according to the ministry, that he intended to kidnap the person in charge, a count of federal indictment which could be worth to him up to 20 years of prison. Assaulting her husband faces another prison sentence of up to 30 years, the Justice Department said.
On Monday night, the San Francisco district attorney announced a flurry of new charges, including attempted murder and burglary, this time at the local, not the federal level.
It was a "politically motivated" attack, and David DePape could be sentenced to life in prison, said Brooke Jenkins at a press conference.
The man had entered the couple's room looking for Nancy Pelosi, who was in Washington that day. His arrival had awakened Paul Pelosi, 82, who had had time to call the 911 emergency number before the suspect attacked him with a hammer.
- Conspiracy -
After his arrest, David DePape told officers he held Nancy Pelosi responsible for the "lies" he said were being spread by the Democratic Party, according to a court document attached to the department's statement.
Stating that he had intended to take her hostage and talk to her, the man explained that if she told him "the truth", he would release her, but that "if she lied, he would break her kneecaps", according to this same source.
Paul Pelosi “suffered the punishment for him,” the suspect claimed.
This attack occurred ten days before the midterm elections, during which the Democrats are in great danger of losing their majority in the House of Representatives.
On Friday, before the details of the assault on Nancy Pelosi's husband became known, US security officials expressed concern in a memo that disinformation could drive some extremists to carry out violent attacks.
Fears were also expressed by President Joe Biden, who in a speech on Friday evening warned that misinformation could influence people who are "not fully balanced".
David DePape, who lived in a garage in a small town near San Francisco, had shared posts on social media in recent months claiming the election was stolen or the Covid vaccines didn't work.
Inti Gonzalez, whose mother was the suspect's companion for years, claimed he had recently turned to far-right conspiracy.
Nancy Pelosi said she was "traumatized" on Saturday by the attack, adding that the state of health of Paul Pelosi, operated for a fractured skull and injuries to the arm and hands on Friday, continued to improve.
The American political class was almost unanimous in its condemnation of the attack. President Joe Biden in particular had denounced an “ignoble” act.