Stand up for the facts!

Our only agenda is to publish the truth so you can be an informed participant in democracy.
We need your help.

More Info

I would like to contribute

Andy Nguyen
By Andy Nguyen June 10, 2022

Charges haven’t been dismissed against Paul Pelosi because they haven’t been filed

If Your Time is short

  • Paul Pelosi, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, was arrested by the California Highway Patrol in late May on suspicion of driving under the influence after being involved in a two-car collision in Napa County. 
  • The highway patrol does not have the ability to file or dismiss charges, and Gov. Gavin Newsom has no involvement in Pelosi’s case. 
  • Charges have not been filed in the arrest, and the case remains under review by the Napa County District Attorney’s Office.

An Instagram post is pushing a false claim that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi used her political connections to get DUI charges dismissed against her husband, Paul Pelosi, who was arrested in late May.

"BREAKING: All charges have reportedly been dropped against Paul Pelosi for his DUI crash," the June 7 Instagram post says. "Gavin Newsom reportedly intervened at the request of Nancy Pelosi and directly ordered the California Highway Patrol to drop all charges."

The post is a screenshot of a tweet made by "The Sly Show," an internet radio show describing itself as "unfiltered, inappropriate, irreverent, unpredictable and insane."

The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. Instagram is owned by Facebook. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

Paul Pelosi was arrested in Napa County on May 29 on suspicion of DUI after being involved in a two-car collision. CNN reported his blood alcohol content was above the legal limit of 0.08%.  

Officials in Napa County have mostly remained quiet about the arrest, but claims like the ones featured in the Instagram post began to circulate on social media. Generally, the posts suggest that charges were dropped because of Pelosi’s prominence and that his booking photo was withheld from the public.

A spokesperson for the California Highway Patrol told PolitiFact the agency is not responsible for filing charges, and that responsibility falls on the Napa County District Attorney’s Office.

Fran Calder, CHP’s director of communications, said the agency is also not responsible for releasing booking photos, which are maintained by the Napa County Corrections Department.

Featured Fact-check

"The CHP has treated this incident in the same manner as it does in any case. Any claims to the contrary are patently false," Calder said.

Napa County District Attorney Allison Haley said in a June 9 statement that her office was still reviewing Pelosi’s case and no charges have been filed. He has a court hearing set for Aug. 3 and, if criminal charges are filed, Pelosi would be arraigned at that time.

"This is standard protocol for any DUI case that is referred by a law enforcement agency in Napa County," Haley said. "No decision has been made at this time.  Any speculation to the contrary is incorrect."

PolitiFact also reached out to California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office, and a spokesperson said, "The governor and the governor’s office had no involvement in this incident."

We’ve found no evidence to contradict the statements of the highway patrol, the district attorney’s office or the governor’s office. 

Our ruling

An Instagram post claims DUI charges against Nancy Pelosi’s husband Paul were dropped by the California Highway Patrol after direct intervention by Newsom.

In actuality, charges have not been filed against Pelosi for his DUI arrest and the Napa County District Attorney’s Office continues to review the case.

A highway patrol spokesperson said the agency does not file charges and a representative for Newsom said neither he nor his office is involved in Pelosi’s case.

We rate this claim False.

Our Sources

Instagram post, June 7, 2022

The Sly Show, Tweet, June 7, 2022

Archive of The Sly Show’s Tweet

CNN, "Pelosi's husband charged with DUI," May 30, 2022

Napa County District Attorney’s Office, Facebook post, June 9, 2022

Email with Fran Clader, director of communications for California Highway Patrol, June 9, 2022

Email with Erin Mellon, communications director for Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office, June 9, 2022

Browse the Truth-O-Meter

More by Andy Nguyen

Charges haven’t been dismissed against Paul Pelosi because they haven’t been filed

Support independent fact-checking.
Become a member!

In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.

Sign me up