Paul Pelosi, husband of former US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, has testified against a man accused of attacking him in his San Francisco home last year.
The alleged assailant, David DePape, faces two charges including attempted kidnapping of a federal official. He has pleaded not guilty.
Mr DePape was motivated by conspiracies about Mrs Pelosi, his lawyer has said.
Mr Pelosi said Mr DePape had been looking for his wife, whom he said he “had to take out” during the attack.
“He said, she was the leader of the pack, he had to take her out, he was going to wait for her,” Mr Pelosi told the court.
“He was going to tie me up and wait for her.”
The 83-year-old also recalled waking up to find Mr DePape “standing in the doorway”.
“It was a tremendous shock, looking at him, looking at the hammer and the ties,” he added.
“I recognised I was in serious danger. I tried to stay as calm as possible.”
Mr DePape is facing up to 20 years in prison for the attempted kidnapping charge, as well as an additional 30 years for assault on a federal official’s family member.
After the incident, Mr Pelosi spent six days in hospital. In addition to a fractured skull, he also suffered injuries to his arm and hand.
According to court documents, Mr DePape broke into the Pelosi home with a hammer on 28 October last year. Once inside, he asked for Mrs Pelosi, who was not home at the time.
Officers responding to a 911 call from Mr Pelosi found both men gripping a hammer.
When asked to drop the weapon, Mr DePape abruptly swung the hammer at Mr Pelosi before being subdued by officers.
The entire encounter was caught on body camera footage played in court on Monday.
Mr Pelosi told the court that he had attempted to put the incident out of his mind ever since.
“I have not discussed this incident with anybody. And I have encouraged my family not to either,” he said.
“I have tried to put it out of my mind.
It wasn’t until [the prosecutor’s] meeting with you and your associates that I talked about this.
I’ve made the best effort that I possibly can to not relive this.”
Earlier on Monday, jurors heard from several police officers who saw footage of the incident or collected the electronics Mr DePape was carrying.
One of the witnesses, an FBI special agent, testified that the footage showed Mr DePape striking Mr Pelosi three times.
In court last week, Mr DePape’s public defender, Jodi Linker, told jurors that his client believed conspiracy theories with “every ounce of his being” but had not been motivated by Mrs Pelosi’s political status.
Prosecutors, however, have alleged that Mr DePape was looking for Mrs Pelosi as part of a “plan of violence”.
When he was arrested, he had zip ties and duct tape in his possession.
Following the incident, Mr DePape allegedly told investigators that he had a “target list” and planned to hold Mrs Pelosi captive and break “her kneecaps” if she did not reveal “the truth”.
He referred to her as the “leader of the pack of lies”.
Mr DePape is also facing separate state charges stemming from the incident, including attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and residential burglary.
He could face life in prison if convicted of the more serious charges.
He has pleaded not guilty.