Internet history gives window into Pelosi assault suspect

The internet history of the man accused of assaulting Paul Pelosi in his San Francisco home shows an obsession with far-right media and conspiracy theories ranging from the Great Reset to QAnon.

David DePape, 42, is accused of breaking into the Pacific Heights home shared by Paul Pelosi and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi early Friday morning. During the break-in, he allegedly demanded to see Nancy Pelosi and assaulted Paul Pelosi so violently that Pelosi needed surgery for his head wounds. He is expected to make a full recovery; Nancy Pelosi was not home at the time of the attack.

Long before becoming a suspect in Pelosi’s assault, DePape had a reputation in the Bay Area for fringe beliefs. He once lived in Berkeley with Gypsy Taub, a nude activist who was known for espousing 9/11 conspiracy theories and is now in jail for stalking a teen boy. According to Taub and others who know DePape, he hasn’t lived with her for some time.

David DePape, center, records Gypsy Taub being led away by police after her nude wedding outside City Hall on Dec. 19, 2013, in San Francisco. DePape is accused of breaking into House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s home and severely beating her husband with a hammer.

Eric Risberg/AP

DePape’s WordPress blog and Facebook page, both taken down since Friday, were filled with popular content on far-right media and propaganda outlets. One of the WordPress posts was an image attempting to connect various conspiracies about child sex trafficking, an obsession among QAnon adherents; the image shows the logo of furniture company Wayfair, which some Q believers think sells children on its site under the guise of expensive furniture. DePape also posted about Pizzagate, a conspiracy that imagines liberal politicians are trafficking children out of a Washington, DC, pizza restaurant.

“My friends would be like pizza gate was debunked their is NO such thing as elite pedophile sex rings and I’m like HELLO Epstein what planet are you on?” the post reads.

Some posts use racial slurs, and others show a fixation with the idea that white men are persecuted in America. “Hate speech is ONLY allowed that targets WHITE or MEN,” reads one meme DePape posted. In another, he referred to “diversity” as a “dog whistle for the genocide of the white race.” He also posted content questioning the Holocaust. One WordPress post is titled “Hitlery did nothing wrong.”

DePape’s daughter confirmed to the Los Angeles Times that the blog belonged to her father.

According to CNN, DePape posted links on his Facebook page claiming the 2020 election was stolen and false claims that people are dying because of the COVID-19 vaccine. He also reportedly posted repeatedly about the Great Reset, a conspiracy theory that the COVID-19 pandemic was planned and used by the global elite to reorder society. The Great Reset is invoked constantly by Alex Jones, who was recently ordered to pay more than $1 billion in damages for spreading lies about the Sandy Hook school shooting.

Extremism researchers are finding modern new-age beliefs are more and more commonly intersecting with far-right conspiracy theories. They already share some beliefs, like opposition to modern medicine and distrust of conventional authority figures, and staunch anti-vaccination stances can lead some down the path to more radical beliefs.

DePape, who was born in Canada, is being held in a San Francisco County Jail on charges of attempted murder, battery, burglary and threatening a family member of a public official, among other crimes. He is expected to be sponsored on Tuesday.

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