For years, Ms. Pelosi, whose speakership ended this month, has been one of the most threatened members of Congress, in part because of a coordinated effort by Republicans to target the most powerful woman in American politics. In advertisements and fund-raising appeals designed to anger, scare and animate their core supporters, they for years have portrayed Ms. Pelosi, a wealthy woman from the progressive bastion of San Francisco, as the most sinister Democratic villain of all.
The suspect, Mr. DePape, 43, faces numerous felony charges in state court, including attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon. He also faces federal charges of attempted kidnapping of a federal officer and assault on a family member of a federal official. If convicted, he would face the possibility of life in prison. He has pleaded not guilty, and the next hearing in the case is scheduled for Feb. 23, when a trial date will be set.
Mr. Pelosi has been slowly recovering since the attack. In recent weeks, he has attended some high-profile events with his wife, including Ms. Pelosi’s portrait unveiling and the Kennedy Center Honors. At both events, he wore a hat to cover any visible head injury and a dark glove to cover the hand that had been wounded. Earlier this month, Mr. Pelosi sat in the House gallery overlooking the floor as members cast what would be their first of 15 votes to elect a new speaker. Still, Ms. Pelosi and her family members have been candid about the long road he faces before he can make a full recovery.
“He’s been out a bit because the doctor said he has to have something to look forward to, and so again, one day at a time,” Ms. Pelosi told CNN’s Chris Wallace in a recent interview. “He had wounds and all the rest in that on his body. Those took time, but they healed. Tendons, you know all that stuff. But the head is a different thing.”
Ms. Pelosi said that with a serious head injury, “you have to be careful about movement. You have to be careful about light. You have to be careful about sound. And it just takes a while. You get very tired, but, you know, without going so further into it, but it takes, it will take probably another three or four months, according to the doctors, for him to be really himself.”
According to his daughter Alexandra Pelosi, Mr. Pelosi was never deeply political, despite being married to the most powerful Democratic operator in the country. His circle of friends included many Republicans, and he forbid the family to discuss politics at the dinner table.
But Mr. Pelosi played an invaluable behind-the-scenes role for his wife over her years leading House Democrats, a fairly unglamorous role that was on display in a recent HBO documentary about Ms. Pelosi made by Alexandra Pelosi.