SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The suspect charged in the attack on Paul Pelosi appeared in federal court Wednesday for a status hearing where both parties discussed the next steps in the ongoing criminal case.
The government has produced 16,000 pages of evidence in the criminal case against DePape - indicating more is coming. This includes newly-released body camera footage, U.S. Capitol surveillance footage, and forensic results from the FBI's search. Prosecutors say they are still waiting for images of DePape's devices, but signaled interest in setting a trial date soon.
Both legal teams told U.S. District Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley they need additional time to gather or review the evidence.
"I think a trial will be quite some time off," said Mark Reichel, an attorney and former federal public defender.
According to Reichel, DePape will need to be evaluated before a trial date is set.
"The court is really obligated to make sure the person before them is mentally fit to undergo a trial," he said.
DePape made a phone call to another news outlet revealing no remorse for his actions, reportedly indicating he wished he was more prepared to carry out the attack. Reichel says this will significantly hurt his case.
"Very damaging to guilt," Reichel said. "The only defense for insanity, is you didn't know it was wrong...This really hurts any defense and also this will make its way into the jury. Especially if they can't consider the sanity of the person."
A federal insanity defense is known to be difficult to prove in any trial, but Reichel says that's especially true with DePape's case that already has significant video evidence and repeated confessions.
DePape is facing a slew of charges in both federal and state court that carry possible life sentences. It's unclear which case will go to trial first. If DePape avoids entering a guilty plea, Reichel argues the only obvious defense at trial is vulnerability to misinformation.
"It will have a lot of jury appeal to point the finger somewhere else, there's a person that believed in authority, which included the former president of the U.S.," Reichel said. "The question becomes, is it reasonable for someone to rely on that?"
The hearing came after Pelosi's first public appearance since the body camera footage was released where he received a standing ovation of support during the State of the Union Tuesday night.
DePape is due back in federal court on March 15 for another status hearing.
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