Newly released bodycam video of the October attack on Paul Pelosi sheds light on what appeared to be right and wrong with the NBC News report that was mysteriously retracted last year.
NBC News reporter Miguel Almaguer went viral days after the attack when he implied Pelosi, husband of former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, might not have been in immediate danger when police arrived at his San Francisco home the night he was assaulted by suspect David DePape. Almaguer’s report contradicted the mainstream narrative and was quickly scrubbed from the internet by NBC News without an explanation aside from a brief line about it not meeting standards.
Almaguer was then vanished from NBC News for several weeks, but the network refused to confirm he was suspended with an on-the-record comment, and media insiders were baffled by NBC News’ lack of transparency on the issue.
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Almaguer’s retracted report stated that officers were seemingly unaware they were called to the San Francisco residence of Pelosi. This tidbit is unclear from the bodycam footage, but responding officers did not mention Pelosi or indicate they were aware of who lived at the residence.
Almaguer then noted that after a “knock and announce,” the front door was opened by Pelosi, who “did not immediately declare an emergency or leave his home.” This was true, as Pelosi opened the door, and didn’t declare an emergency or exit the residence.
However, Pelosi appeared to be under duress; DePape was holding his arm, and police were responding to a 911 call when they arrived. Pelosi appeared to be holding a can of a beverage in his left hand, while his right hand was trying to grip the hammer DePape was holding.
Almaguer also reported that Pelosi “walked several feet” back towards the assailant and away from police. This was inaccurate, as Pelosi and DePape were standing next to each other as the door opened.
NBC News did not immediately respond when asked if Almaguer’s claim that Pelosi “walked several feet” back towards DePape was the justification for retracting the report.
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Almaguer did not respond to a request for comment.
“It’s unclear if the 82-year-old was already injured or what his mental state was,” Almaguer said later in the report.
Almaguer was also accurate when he cited “court documents” that indicated DePape smiled and told officer “everything’s good” but “instantaneously a struggle ensued as police clearly saw David DePape strike Paul Pelosi in the head with a hammer,” as this was confirmed by bodycam footage.
In the video, after police told him to “drop the hammer,” DePape said, “Um, nope.” He then started to tug the hammer out of Pelosi’s attempted grasp, as Pelosi protested, saying, “Hey, hey, hey,” and a second later, DePape attacked him with it.
“After tackling the suspect, officers rushed to Mr. Pelosi, who was lying in a pool of blood,” Almaguer said in another aspect of the retracted report that appeared to be accurate.
“We still don’t know exactly what happened between Mr. Pelosi and the suspect for the 30 minutes they were alone inside that house before police arrived,” Almaguer said at the time.
NBC News did not respond to a series of questions, and it remains unclear what portion of Almaguer’s piece resulted in it being retracted, or if the network felt the tone around a sensitive topic was misleading. An NBC News insider told Fox News Digital in December that the news division was furious the story ever made it to air and that procedural safeguards had been ignored.
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San Francisco County Superior Court made the bodycam footage public after Judge Stephen Murphy denied a request two days earlier by prosecutors to keep it secret. U.S. Capitol Police surveillance footage capturing the moment when DePape allegedly entered the home was also released on Friday. The footage shows DePape scoping out the glass door he allegedly broke to get into the home before disappearing and coming back with two bags, pulling an object out of the smaller bag and moving it into the larger bag.
DePape then appears to retrieve a hammer and use it to break through the glass door to gain entry into the Pelosi home.
DePape has pleaded not guilty to all state charges in the case, including attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and elder abuse. He also has pleaded not guilty to federal charges of assaulting an immediate family member of a federal official and attempted kidnapping of a federal officer for the alleged home invasion.
Fox News’ Greg Norman and Houston Keene contributed to this report.
Source: Fox News