Accused Pelosi attacker pleads not guilty

The Canadian man accused of breaking into the San Francisco home of United States House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and striking her husband Paul in the head with a hammer has pleaded not guilty to federal criminal charges.

David Wayne DePape, 42, was ordered held without bond on federal charges of assault and attempted kidnapping and is scheduled to return to US District Court in San Francisco on November 30, local station ABC-7 reported.

DePape pleaded not guilty on November 2 to state charges of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, burglary, elder abuse, false imprisonment and threatening a public official.

He is accused of gaining entry to the home of Paul, 82, and Nancy Pelosi on October 28 and striking Paul Pelosi with a hammer, leaving him hospitalised with a skull fracture and injuries to his hand and arm.

Paul Pelosi has since been released from a San Francisco area hospital.

Nancy Pelosi, also 82 and a Democrat second in the line of succession to the presidency, was in Washington on the night of the attack.

DePape faces a maximum sentence of up to 50 years in prison if found guilty of the federal charges, although sentencing guidelines typically call for less time behind bars.

The state charges carry a maximum prison sentence of 13 years to life.

Capitol Police officials have undertaken an "internal security review" to determine how its officers failed to notice the attack despite having security cameras trained on the Pelosi home.