Paul Pelosi, husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, was attacked brutally last week by a man armed with a hammer who broke into the couple’s San Francisco home. Nancy Pelosi was in Washington, D.C., at the time.
David DePape, the man charged in the assault, pleaded not guilty on Tuesday. Pelosi, 82, suffered a fractured skull, which required surgery, and he was released from the hospital Thursday.
The internet was inundated with false claims about the case.
Some social media users said Pelosi and DePape were acquainted.
“Paul Pelosi KNEW his attacker and NAMED him in his 911 call,” read one tweet.
False, according to USA Today. Pelosi did not know his attacker.
A San Francisco Police Department spokesperson told USA Today that Pelosi, during a 911 call, told dispatchers the attacker had identified himself as David.
A justice department news release said Pelosi told police a man he had never seen before entered his bedroom.
Some false claims have Pelosi and the attacker involved in a hammer fight while the two were dressed only in underwear.
“Remember … if two guys in their underwear get into a hammer fight at 2am — it’s Trump’s fault,” read an Oct. 29 Facebook post.
“Paul Pelosi & his attacker were half naked when the police showed up. They were both in their underwear,” read an Instagram post on the day of the attack.
Wrong on both claims, USA Today reported.
There was no “hammer fight,” because there was only one hammer.
When officers arrived at the residence, Pelosi and DePape each had a hand on the hammer, according to a statement from San Francisco police. DePape got control of the hammer and assaulted Pelosi.
The struggle did not take place with the two in their underwear.
DePape was wearing shorts, according to the criminal complaint.
“Mr. Pelosi, who was sleeping, was wearing a loosefitting pajama shirt and boxer shorts,” District Attorney Brooke Jenkins said during a news conference.
KTVU Fox 2, which first reported DePape was arrested in his underwear, added an editor’s note to the end of the article.
“CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misstated what clothing the suspect was wearing when officers found him.”
Other false claims involve the exterior of the Pelosi residence.
A Nov. 1 Facebook post suggests the attacker had to climb a fence and get past “6 alert dogs” before breaking into the home.
But that claim is baseless, USA Today said. There is no mention of guard dogs in the criminal complaint, and photos of the home taken after the attack show no fence around the property.
Biden overstates role
President Joe Biden speaks about Social Security, Medicare, and prescription drug costs on Tuesday in Hallandale Beach, Florida.
– Associated Press
During a Nov. 1 speech in Hallandale Beach, Florida, President Joe Biden talked about a positive outlook for Social Security benefits.
“On my watch, for the first time in 10 years, seniors are getting an increase in their Social Security checks,” he said.
But that statement is inaccurate, according to PolitiFact. Social Security recipients have seen their benefits increase in nine of the past 10 years. And it’s not because of Biden.
Due to a 1972 law, there is a cost-of-living increase automatically triggered each year based on inflation. The amount of the adjustment is determined by how much the consumer price index has risen over the previous year.
Before 1972, Congress needed to approve any increases to the benefits.
In 2016, there was no adjustment because the inflation rate was so low. Based on current inflation, the 2023 increase will be 8.7%, the largest since 1981 when the adjustment was 11.2%.
Ballots will be delivered
Contrary to social media reports, the United States Postal Service says it will deliver mail-in ballots regardless of whether they carry the proper postage.
– Associated Press Photo
Recent social media posts claim mail-in ballots without proper postage will not be counted.
“They wanna talk about voter suppression, let’s talk about why the absentee ballots need postage. Tax dollars can pay for other things to be postage free, but not the voter ballot? Make it make sense,” read a Twitter post.
But all ballots will be delivered, according to The Associated Press.
While some states have prepaid postage on absentee ballots, the United States Postal Service won’t delay or reject any ballots with insufficient postage, USPS spokesperson Martha Johnson told the AP. The unpaid fees are then collected from local election officials.
“We are proactively working with state and local election officials on mailing requirements, including postage payment,” Johnson said.
Postal service policy is to prioritize election mail and deliver all absentee ballots, even those without sufficient postage, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
• Bob Oswald is a veteran Chicago-area journalist and former news editor of the Elgin Courier-News. Contact him at email@example.com.