Kevin Wolf / AP
Sacramento, Calif. — Video footage of the attack on the husband of former U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will be made public after a judge on Wednesday denied prosecutors’ request to keep it under wraps.
San Francisco Superior Court Judge Stephen M. Murphy ruled there was no reason to keep the tape secret, especially after prosecutors showed it in open court during a preliminary hearing last month, according to Thomas R. Burke, a lawyer from San Francisco, who represented the Associated Press and a host of other news outlets, are trying to get access to the evidence.
The San Francisco District Attorney’s office released Murphy’s evidence on Wednesday after the trial. Murphy asked the clerk’s office to circulate it to the media, which could happen as early as Thursday.
Paul Pelosi, Nancy Pelosi’s husband, was sleeping at the couple’s home in San Francisco on October 28 when someone broke into the house and hit it with a hammer. Prosecutors have charged 42-year-old David DePape in connection with the assault.
During a preliminary hearing last month, prosecutors played back footage of Paul Pelosi’s 911 call, as well as footage from Capitol police surveillance cameras, body cameras of two cops arriving at the home, and video footage of DePape’s interview with police.
But when news outlets requested copies of that evidence, the San Francisco District Attorney’s office refused to provide it. The attack, which took place just a few days before the 2022 midterm elections, sparked massive public speculation that fueled the spread of false information.
The district attorney’s office argued that making the footage public would only allow people to manipulate it in their quest to spread false information.
But news outlets argued that it was vital for prosecutors to share their evidence publicly, which could disprove any false information circulating online about the attack.
“You don’t remove the public right of access just because of concerns about conspiracy theories,” Burke said.
The San Francisco District Attorney’s Office did not respond to an email from the Associated Press asking for comment.
Media outlets that have sought publication of the footage include The New York Times, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, The Press Democrat, CNN, Fox News, CBS, ABC, NBC and KQED, NPR. member of a radio station in San Francisco.
Last month, DePape pleaded not guilty to six counts, including attempted murder. Police said DePape told them that Washington was “evil” and that he wanted to hurt Nancy Pelosi because she was second in line for the presidency. His case is pending.
Democrats lost their majority in the House of Representatives after the midterm elections. The Republicans have elected California Republican U.S. Representative Kevin McCarthy as their new speaker. Pelosi will remain in Congress, but she stepped down as Democratic leader. She was replaced by Hakim Jeffreys of New York.