NEW YORK — For Alexandra Pelosi, the brutal attack on her father earlier this year was the culmination of an outrage that had been building for decades. He says his family name has been used as a weapon over the years, becoming a dirty word for Republicans.
Then, in October, a man broke into the family’s San Francisco home and attacked Paul Pelosi with a hammer, leaving him unconscious in a pool of his own blood.
The bubbly political rhetoric that led up to that moment is chronicled in a new documentary premiering Tuesday night on HBO. The film “Pelosi in the House”, directed and produced by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s youngest of five children, Alexandra Pelosi, follows Pelosi’s career spanning three decades.
The film offers a rare look at her political career, from her election to Congress in 1987 to becoming the first female Speaker of the House of Representatives in 2007, and chronicles the major milestones of the January 6 Uprising at the US Capitol. 2021, as Congress was voting to certify Joe Biden’s presidential victory.
“There is a thread from when they first started running ads against Nancy Pelosi and turning her into a witch and turning our last name into a dirty word. You can follow that thread 20 years later to my parents’ door and attack my father,” Alexandra Pelosi said in an interview. The Associated Press.
Pelosi’s film follows her mother through the Capitol and behind the scenes as she negotiates a key vote for key legislation. It also describes threats the family received, including a severed pig’s head that was delivered to the speaker’s home in San Francisco days before the attack on the Capitol.
The camera was still rolling on January 6 as the Speaker of the House was getting ready to certify the presidential election and rioters began smashing doors and windows, violently shoving overwhelmed police officers , Due to which many officers were injured and bloody.
The film includes extended clips taken as Pelosi and other congressional leaders are escorted out of the Capitol and taken to Fort McNair, a nearby military base. It calls desperate leaders including the secretary of defense, the attorney general, then-Vice President Mike Pence and other officials trying to get help to the Capitol.
Some of the footage was played during hearings of the House panel investigating the attack on the Capitol. Alexandra Pelosi and her team provided the images to the committee.
“When they took Nancy Pelosi out of the chamber, she couldn’t even get her cell phone out. He banished her. And she was calling the Secretary of Defense, the Attorney General, the Vice President, and I thought there should be a record of that,” Alexandra Pelosi said.
“He didn’t get to get the Secretary of the House, who has a transcript of it all, to record what was happening. It was historical, what was happening, and someone should have a record of what was said,” he said.
Among those historic moments: Discussion about whether to bus the entire Congress, 100 senators and 435 members of the House, to Fort McNair and hold a joint session there to continue the certification of the election.
For the Speaker of the House, the assault on the Capitol was one of the worst moments of his career, as panicked members of his staff fled for cover, quietly hiding under tables as rioters ransacked the House office. President and yelled “Nancy!” Searching for Pelosi.
“She thinks the Capitol is a sacred place,” Alexandra Pelosi says of her mother. “That’s why January 6th really strains his soul. Because of that, the Capitol is hallowed ground, and the rioters have indeed defecated on hallowed ground.”
Less than two years after that attack, a man broke into the Pelosi family home in San Francisco, woke the speaker’s husband, and reportedly asked, “Where’s Nancy?” Officers arrived at the home after Paul Pelosi called 911 and arrested the intruder, David Deppe. He appears to have made racist and often disparaging posts online, including some that questioned the 2020 election results, defended former President Donald Trump, and echoed QAnon conspiracy theories.
The Pelosi family has also received death threats. The FBI has been involved in several cases involving threats to Pelosi’s grandchildren, and Alexandra Pelosi said she receives threatening messages almost every day.
“It was so inevitable, because the rhetoric has escalated so much in recent years,” said Alexandra Pelosi as she watched from the window of her New York home.
As the family gathered for Thanksgiving this year, a tactical team of police officers with rifles surrounded the perimeter of the house. Alexandra Pelosi is struggling to explain to her children why so many people want to kill their grandmother.
“My son comes to the kitchen in the morning for breakfast. He goes, ‘Hey, did you see that the guy who said he wanted to hang Nancy Pelosi from a light pole was convicted?’ It is strange that a teenager is talking about his own grandmother, who is hanging from an electric pole,” he said.
“And as a mother, you are trying to say that all humanity is good. We are decent people. No we are not”.