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Body camera footage from Paul Pelosi attack released

The evidence was released Friday after a coalition of news organizations asked the judge presiding over the case to make them public.
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Police body camera footage from last year's vicious hammer attack on then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband at their San Francisco home was made public Friday.

The video, first obtained by NBC News affiliate KNTV, shows police approaching Pelosi's home and then the door being opened with Pelosi standing next to the suspect in the case, David DePape. Both men are holding onto a hammer.

Asked what's going on, DePape says, "Everything's good."

“Drop the hammer,” one of the officers says. “Nope,” DePape replies, before quickly wresting it from Pelosi and attacking him with it. The officers immediately tackle DePape, and Pelosi is seen lying motionless on the ground. The time between the door being opened and the hammer attack is about 14 seconds.

Prosecutors also released Capitol Police security video of the exterior of the home. It shows DePape with several bags, including a large backpack, in a yard outside the Pelosi home. He appears to remove the hammer from the bag. The video then shows him using the hammer to break into the house, repeatedly swinging the tool in an effort to force his way in through a glass door on the back porch.

DePape told police "it was not easy" to break the door, and he was worried the Pelosis would hear the noise. He said he made his way to the couple's bedroom to find only Paul Pelosi there, and sound asleep. "All that noise he did not hear," DePape said, according to an excerpt of his police interview released Friday.

He said he woke Pelosi up and demanded to know where his wife was. "He's like, 'She's not here,'" he recounted.

Pelosi eventually was able to get into the bathroom, where his phone was, and called 911, DePape said.  

Prosecutors released audio of the call Friday. Pelosi tries to sound matter of fact while subtly asking for help, and then sounding more panicked as the 911 operator doesn't initially seem to understand that he was in peril.

"I guess I called by mistake," he said at the beginning of the call. "There's a gentleman here just waiting for my wife to come back, Nancy Pelosi. He’s just waiting for her to come back. But she’s not going to be here for days, so I guess I’ll have to wait," he said.

It soon became clear that DePape was listening to Pelosi. Pelosi asks him, “What do you think?” DePape replies, “I think everything is good.”

Pelosi then says, "He thinks everything’s good. I’ve got a problem, but he thinks everything is good."

"This gentleman just came into the house and wants to wait for my wife to come home. He just came into the house," Pelosi said. Asked if he knew the person, Pelosi said, "No. I don’t know who he is. He’s telling me not to do anything."

Asked for the person's name, Pelosi said he didn't know. DePape can be heard saying, "I'm David ... I'm a friend of theirs." 

"He says he’s a friend but I don’t know him," Pelosi tells the operator, before adding, "He wants me to get the hell off the phone, ok?" The call then ends.

Pelosi suffered a fractured skull and injuries to his arms and hands during the assault.

Nancy Pelosi told reporters at the Capitol on Friday that she has not listened to the audio recordings and has no intention of watching the video of the "deadly assault on my husband's life."

"We continue to thank people for all of their prayers that they continue to send us," she said.

The evidence was released after a coalition of news organizations, including NBC News, made a motion to the judge presiding over the criminal case against DePape arguing it should be made public.

Prosecutors from the San Francisco district attorney's office had refused to release the evidence to the media, telling the judge they had concerns that the video footage publicly could be manipulated in a bid to spread false information.

San Francisco County Superior Court Judge Stephen Murphy sided with the group of 13 news organizations, who contended the court records should be made public and that their release would help combat disinformation in the case. The judge noted Wednesday when he issued his decision that the evidence was played in open court at a preliminary hearing last month.

Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., a friend of Nancy Pelosi, said she didn’t watch the video and did not think its release would dispel conspiracy theories.

“I think it’s unfortunate that the judge felt a need to release it, but it’s his decision to make,” Lofgren said.

“We’ve had Republicans make fun of the attack already, make jokes about it. I think it just feeds those who want to profit in some way over what was really a tragic attack,” she said.

In the state case, DePape, 42, is charged with attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, elder abuse, residential burglary, false imprisonment and threatening a public official for the Oct. 28 attack on the 82-year-old Pelosi.

He also faces two federal charges stemming from the assault — attempted kidnapping and assault with intent to retaliate against a federal official by threatening or injuring a family member. 

DePape has pleaded not guilty in both cases.

In court filings, state prosecutors said he told officers at the scene his true target was Nancy Pelosi, who was not in the home at the time.

“I’m sick of the insane f------ level of lies coming out of Washington, D.C. I came here to have a little chat with his wife,” DePape said, according to the filing.

“I didn’t really want to hurt him, but you know this was a suicide mission. I’m not going to stand here and do nothing even if it cost me my life,” he allegedly said.

The federal complaint said DePape told police he was “going to hold Nancy hostage and talk to her.”

“If Nancy were to tell DePape the ‘truth,’ he would let her go, and if she ‘lied,’ he was going to break ‘her kneecaps,’” the complaint alleged.

In the excerpt of the interview released Friday, DePape said he was outraged about investigations into former President Donald Trump and the 2020 election being stolen and said he was fighting against "tyranny."