Last Updated on November 1, 2022
U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) Chief J. Thomas Manger is asking for additional security following an alleged attack on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Paul, in the couple’s home. David DePape, 42, has been charged with attempted murder after allegedly entering through a sliding glass door and proceeding to attack the 82-year-old Pelosi with a hammer. Despite previously high security, the two men appeared to be home alone, prompting questions from a neighbor who recalled a previously tight security situation.
“Friday’s attack against Paul Pelosi is an alarming reminder of the dangerous threats elected officials and public figures face during today’s contentious political climate,” Manger said in a statement.
“Since January 6, 2021, we have implemented a long list of improvements, including adding significant staffing to address the security in and around the U.S. Capitol Complex. The Department is on track to meet our goal of hiring nearly 280 officers by the end of the year. It takes the better part of a year to put recruits through the academy,” Manger continued.
“While progress has been made, there is still a lot of work to do. The Department’s long-term plans to expand our protective operations are already underway– their importance only emphasized by Friday’s brutal attack. We will continue to work with our Congressional partners to add additional agents and security enhancements to support our protective operations mission.”
The UCSP chief cited previous attacks on former U.S. Rep Gabbie Giffords (D-AZ) and current House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), noting that the Capitol Police received additional resources afterwards. He went on to argue that following a “review” of the Paul Pelosi attack, along with “today’s political climate,” the Capitol Police are underfunded.
“We believe today’s political climate calls for more resources to provide additional layers of physical security for members of Congress,” Chief J. Thomas Manger of the Capitol Police said Tuesday. https://t.co/tHhkGaold1
— The New York Times (@nytimes) November 2, 2022
While Manger has called for an increased budget for his agency, a former neighbor of Paul and Nany Pelosi recalled that fleets of SUVs would often be present at the home as part of a robust security set-up. “There were black cars outside that house, particularly up on Normandie Terrace, all of the time,” the 66-year-old, who lived opposite the Pelosis for a decade, told the Daily Mail.
The neighbor went on to say that the security remained tight even when Nancy Pelosi was in D.C., which she was during the attack. “I don’t distinguish between her being there and not being there. There were always multiple cars,” she said.
‘”Everybody in the neighborhood had alarms on our windows,” the former neighbor said. “So if glass smashed, an alarm went off. We all had alarms that had chimed if the door opened or closed.”
EXCLUSIVE: 'If a glass smashed, an alarm went off!' Nancy Pelosi's former neighbor questions why invasion triggered no warning as she recalls fleets of SUVs at the mansion 24/7, window alarms and even her computers scrambled by Speaker's monitoring devices https://t.co/HaOFk0qk6C
— John Cardillo (@johncardillo) November 1, 2022
Democrat leaders, including President Biden, have rushed to pin the attack on conservatives despite years of erratic behavior and drug use on the part of the suspect, David DePape. The 42-year-old has been described as a “hemp jewelry maker” and pro-public nudity activist. Along with his ex, Oxane “Gypsy” Taub, would disturb neighbors with frequent public nudity.
Like Democrats, the agency attempted to blame the bizarre incident on the political climate and have asked for increased funding. In addition, a number of federal lawmakers have asked for additional security for themselves and their families, citing the alleged break-in.
“I understand that the speaker has a detail but we really need, at least for the leadership, to have Capitol Police at the residences like we do for Supreme Court justices,” U.S. Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) told CNN.
Khanna acknowledged that it would be difficult to provide security for every lawmaker around the clock, though he called for increased security for leadership at the least. “But certainly for the leadership—who are high-profile—you can do that,” he said. “And if there are some members of Congress who have threats, and unfortunately some of my colleagues do, they need better protection.”
Once a small organization, the USCP has expanded dramatically over the past decade. The agency has dramatically grown in size following the January 6 Capitol protests following the 2020 election.
In July 2021, the agency announced its intention to open new field offices to assist in investigating threats against members of Congress. The announcement received backlash from state lawmakers who argued that the USCP was expanding beyond its mission by doing so.
The USCP received increased funding for fiscal year 2023 in part to provide additional “threat based” protective details for members. Manger also said that the agency coordinates with local law enforcement to better protect members of Congress at their individual residencies.