“If you got him talking about politics, it was all over,” Mr. Ciccarelli recalled in an interview this week. “Because he really believed in the whole MAGA, ‘Pizzagate,’ stolen election — you know, all of it, all the way down the line.”
Mr. DePape’s sympathies for the most extreme right-wing conspiracy theories are one piece of the growing investigation into his background.
On Monday, Mr. DePape was charged with multiple state and federal felonies, including the attempted murder of Mr. Pelosi, 82, who remains at a local hospital after undergoing surgery. In a statement on Monday, Ms. Pelosi said her husband, “is making steady progress on what will be a long recovery process.”
For a time, Mr. DePape, who grew up in British Columbia in Canada and moved to California about two decades ago to pursue a relationship with a woman he had met in Hawaii. For a time, he house-sat for a woman in the East Bay area who ran an urban farm for low-income residents, and sometimes helped take care of the chickens.
But in the years leading up to the attack on the Pelosi family, Mr. DePape seemed to be spending more and more time in the darkest corners of the internet, according to Mr. Ciccarelli. After working together for a few years, Mr. Ciccarelli helped Mr. DePape get away from the streets, moving him into a friend’s garage studio in Richmond, Calif.
“Once he was housed, he had much more time to spend on his computer,” Mr. Ciccarelli said. “Because when you’re living under a tree, you don’t have a plug.”
On Saturday, the F.B.I. raided the garage in Richmond and seized two hammers, a sword and a pair of gloves.