By Olga R. Rodriguez and Lisa Mascaro | Related press
SAN FRANCISCO – House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, in her first public appearance since the brutal att*ck on her husband, rallied grassroots activists on Friday, saying that the mid-term election to congress scrutiny is a fight for democracy and “very winnable.”
“People say to me, ‘What can I do to make you feel better?’ I say: “Vote!” Pelosi told callers.
“I believe this race is very winnable,” said Pelosi.
Her voice sometimes broke as she spoke of her husband’s recovery: “It will be a long way.”
Pelosi thanked video interviewers for supporting 82-year-old Paul Pelosi, who suffered a skull fracture and other injuries after an intruder broke into their San Francisco home late last week and hit him with a hammer, which authorities said was deliberate and political att*ck.
The Democrat leader spoke in the early morning from California, where her husband was released from the hospital late Thursday night, her voice breaking in a long but optimistic speech.
“What we are doing is not only winning the elections, but it is strengthening our democracy,” said Pelosi. “There is no doubt that our democracy is on the vote.”
The speaker comes as Democrats face a fierce struggle for control of Congress on Tuesday in the midterm elections as vigorous Republicans work to reverse the House and Senate and end democratic power over Washington.
David DePape, 42, is being held without bail on suspicion of attempted m*rder, burglary and elder abuse. DePape’s attorney Adam Lipson acquitted himself on his behalf earlier this week and vowed to defend him vigorously. Lipson declined to comment on Friday.
At Friday’s hearing, a San Francisco judge revealed that she worked with Chairman Pelosi’s daughter in the 1990s, giving prosecutors and public attorney the opportunity to challenge her role in the case.
Judge Loretta “Lori” Giorgi said she and Christine Pelosi worked together in the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office in the 1990s but had not interacted in years. Christine is one of Pelosis’s five adult children, and although she has never held office in an election, she is considered a potential successor when Pelosi retires from her seat in the House.
In court files released earlier this week, officials said DePape broke into the house carrying wristbands, tape and rope in his backpack. He woke Paul Pelosi and demanded to speak to “Nancy” who was out of town. Two officers who rushed home after Paul Pelosi’s 911 call witnessed DePape smack him over the head with a hammer.
No one objected at Friday’s hearing of Giorgi’s ties to the Pelosi family, but either side might in the future, and San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins said the case might be dealt with by a different judge regardless. The office of the public defender did not immediately have a comment.
“I want to disclose on file that Mr. Pelosi’s daughter, Christine Pelosi, and I were together in the city’s prosecutor’s office in the 1990s.” Giorgi said in court. “And I disclosed to advise the interactions I had when she and I were together. I have not seen, heard or spoken to Mrs. Pelosi after she left the office. I can see her here today.
Giorgi worked in the city prosecutor’s office from 1985 to 2006, when she was appointed to the bench. She rose to the rank of deputy city prosecutor and was the head of the public integrity office.
Christine Pelosi attended Friday’s audition, but seemed to have left through the back door to avoid the media waiting in the hallway. She entered the courtroom just before the proceedings began and sat down in the front row away from reporters.
Christine Pelosi is active in California and the country’s democratic politics. In 2019, she published a book about her mother called “The Nancy Pelosi Way.” In 2017, as president of the California Democratic Party Women’s Club, she was actively involved in the #MeToo movement, which was taking shape in the state capital.
The city attorney’s office did not immediately respond to a request for details of Giorgi and Christine Pelosi’s employment.
Canadian DePape extended his legal entry into the United States more than two decades ago. According to a US official who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity, he should have been blocked from returning to the country after returning several times over the years.
Mascaro volunteered from Washington. Associated Press writers Stefanie Dazio in Los Angeles, Elliot Spagat in San Diego, and Kathleen Ronayne in Sacramento, California contributed to the story.
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