Who is responsible for Nancy Pelosi’s security? Paul Pelosi attack raises question over speaker’s safety
US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Paul Pelosi, was attacked by David DePape, who broke into their San Francisco house
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA: In a vicious incident, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Paul Pelosi, was attacked by a lone assailant, who broke into the Pelosis' San Francisco house on Friday, October 28. The violent attack, which left Paul with a serve skull fracture, has sparked a string of questions about who is responsible for protecting the speaker, who is second-in-line to the presidency after the vice president, and her family.
“When you are as high profile as Nancy Pelosi is […] her place of abode should constantly be under some form of security,” said former SF Mayor Willie Brown on a local radio show Friday morning. During the investigation, the SFPD got to know that the alleged assailant, 42-year-old David DePape, who faces charges that include homicide and elder abuse, originally came for Nancy Pelosi and even shouted “where’s Nancy?” during the invasion. Fortunately, Nancy was not home at that time. But the question is what would have happened if she was at home when DePape broke in?
Some media reports claimed that the Secret Service, which provides security to the president, vice president, their families, and the White House, was in charge of the protection of the US speaker. But a spokesperson for the Secret service clarified that “the speaker of the house is not a Secret Service protectee.” Chief of communications for the agency, Anthony Guglielmi, told The Standard that previous attacks on high-profile politicians have fuelled calls to increase Secret Service’s scope but it led to nothing.
Clarifications from the Secret Services left the responsibility of the speaker’s security up to the US Capitol Police. However, the US Capitol Police told The Standard, “For safety reasons, the USCP does not discuss potential security measures for members.” Keeping information about congressional security practices under wraps is part of the Capitol Police's job, as critical details remain closely guarded.
The attack came shortly before the November 8 midterm elections and follows months of bitter campaigning as Republicans try to win control of the House of Representatives and Senate. Following this attack, the USCP increased the security of the US House speaker and her family.
However, this is not the first time when questions have been raised about the speaker’s security. Last year, police were called to the Pelosi home in the wealthy Pacific Heights neighborhood after vandals defaced the garage door and left a dead pig’s head on the driveway. Later that year, two young adults were also arraigned for egging her house. “I’m sure this [latest] incident is going to amplify the ongoing discussion where public safety is mostly lacking in San Francisco,” said Ross Mirkarimi, a former sheriff, and supervisor in San Francisco, according to The Standard.
Mirkarimi who now works as a consultant on use-of-force investigations in jails said this attack on Pelosi’s house is likely to result in “risk assessments on somebody as high profile as Nancy Pelosi and her family.” Mirkarimi added, “Nancy’s been such a lightning rod for the crazies out there, that I think it goes without saying that they have to really be mindful of their security and other elected officials, too.”