Sen. Wiener remembers Pelosi attack suspect from 10 years ago; details death threats he's faced

ByBrianna Guillory via KGO logo
Thursday, November 3, 2022
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As new details emerge about the Friday morning attack on Paul Pelosi, elected officials are paying closer attention to their own security detail.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- As new details emerge about the Friday morning attack on Paul Pelosi, elected officials are paying closer attention to their own security detail.

Threats of violence toward political leaders are on the rise, according to recent data released by the U.S. Capitol Police Threat Assessment Team.

California State Senator Scott Wiener says lack of security has become a topic of interest, not only at the federal level, but at state and local levels as well.

Wiener said he regularly receives threats in regard to legislation he has authored on LGBTQ+ civil rights and access to vaccines.

RELATED: Paul Pelosi attack: Security cameras at SF home not monitored at time of break-in, police confirm

"I've had thousands of death threats against me in the last few years," he said. "I had a bomb threat on my home. They had to bring bomb-sniffing dogs. I had a guy threaten to come find me with a rifle, and he was prosecuted, and I testified before a jury. In that case, he was convicted. I've had people threaten to decapitate me and send my head to my mother and all sorts of other threats."

Wiener said threats like this undermine democracy and distract elected officials from concentrating on the issues at hand and the thoughts of their constituents.

"And when you also have to think in the back of your head, 'Is this going to get me killed?' that undermines democracy," he said.

He also reflected on the suspect in the Pelosi attack, David DePape, from Weiner's time on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

VIDEO: Rep. Khanna condemns Pelosi attack, says any threats of political violence are 'unpatriotic'

He recalled that DePape was one of the protestors during a time when public nudity was a central topic at City Hall 10 years ago.

"So I'm aware of him. But he clearly, in recent years, got completely brainwashed by right-wing conspiracy theories, about anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, QAnon kind of stuff. And that is absolutely what led him to target Speaker Pelosi," Wiener said.

In response to what can be done to prevent further violence, Wiener had a few ideas, some surrounding misinformation on social media.

"Platforms need to do a better job of getting rid of the garbage, like crazy, dangerous conspiracy theories that incite people to violence. But Republican leaders need to step up and be willing to condemn this kind of violence, which not many of them are doing now," he said.

Since July, members of the of U.S. Congress can receive up to $10,000 to go toward security enhancements to their homes, through a program introduced by the House Sargent of arms. Weiner said the funding is great, but it is not enough.

"We are very exposed, whether members of Congress, state legislators, city council members, school board members, and so we do need more support," he said.

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