Sylvie Claire / October 29, 2022
A man attacked the husband of Democratic Congressional leader Nancy Pelosi on Friday morning, police reported, but the alleged assailant was actually looking for the U.S. leader, a new illustration of the dangers facing elected officials two weeks before the midterm elections.
Around 2:30 a.m. Friday, the suspect entered the couple’s San Francisco home and “violently attacked” Paul Pelosi with a hammer, striking him at least once, said California police chief Bill Scott. The man was looking for Nancy Pelosi and “threatened to kill” her husband, House Speaker Drew Hammill said later. Mrs. Pelosi, 82, was in Washington at the time of the attack.
Paul Pelosi, also in his 80s, “underwent successful surgery to treat a skull fracture and serious injuries to his right arm and hands,” Hammill said. Doctors “believe he will make a full recovery,” he said.
The motives of the 42-year-old suspect, who was still in hospital on Friday evening, remain unclear. One thing is certain, this was not a “random” attack but an “intentional” act, confirmed Bill Scott. “Everyone should be disgusted by what happened this morning,” said the police chief at a press conference.
The entire American political class has strongly condemned the attack. The leader of the Republican opposition in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, said he was “horrified”, while President Joe Biden denounced a “despicable” attack. There is “no place” for political violence in America, the Democrat hammered during a campaign trip to Philadelphia. “Enough is enough. »
In recent months, a number of elected officials have warned against the resurgence of violence targeting the American political class, with Republican Senator Susan Collins declaring that she would not be “surprised” if an elected official or senator “got killed”. “What started out as aggressive phone calls is now turning into threats and actual violence,” the 69-year-old senator said, after someone broke a window in her home in Maine.
“This violence is terrifying,” denounced Friday the progressive elected representative Pramila Jayapal, who had herself to call the authorities when a man had gone in front of her home several times in July, uttering insults with a gun on his belt.
Violence against U.S. elected officials is not new. In January 2011, Democrat Gabby Giffords was nearly killed after being shot in the head during a meeting with constituents in Tucson. But according to Capitol Police, threats against members of Congress have more than doubled since 2017, the year Donald Trump was inaugurated.
Experts are particularly concerned about attacks from far-right groupings. Several members of these militias are accused of being heavily armed to attack the Capitol to keep Donald Trump in office on January 6, 2021.
On this cold winter day, thousands of supporters of the former president had plunged the capital of the United States into chaos, forcing the elected officials to evacuate the hemicycle of the House of Representatives by crawling, gas mask on the head.
Several demonstrators then broke into Nancy Pelosi’s office and wandered through the halls of Congress, shouting: “Where are you Nancy?