Driver of Truck That Hit White House Security Barriers Pleads Guilty


A Missouri man who crashed a box truck carrying Nazi paraphernalia into White House security barriers last year agreed to plead guilty on Monday to damaging property.

The man, Sai Varshith Kandula, faces up to 10 years in prison on the charge. Prosecutors say Mr. Kandula, who was 19 at the time of the incident, caused more than $4,300 in damage to National Park Service property.

Mr. Kandula, a lawful permanent resident from India, said he had been plotting the attack for weeks with the goal of seizing political power once he got into the White House and replacing the government with a Nazi-inspired dictatorship. He said he would be the dictator, and he told officers that he would “kill the president if that’s what I have to do, and would hurt anyone that would stand in the way.”

On May 22, 2023, Mr. Kandula flew from St. Louis to Washington Dulles International Airport and rented a box truck. At about 9:30 p.m., he drove the truck into metal bollards near Lafayette Square, in front of the White House, sending nearby pedestrians running. Then he put the truck in reverse and slammed into the barriers a second time.

He got out of the truck and removed a large flag with a swastika on it and a backpack with the Nazi flag on it.

A month earlier, Mr. Kandula tried to acquire 25 armed guards and an armored convoy from a Virginia-based security company to help him with the attack. He was not successful.

Mr. Kandula is from Chesterfield, a suburb west of St. Louis, where he lived with his parents and brother, according to court documents. He has no prior criminal record. He was evaluated by a psychiatrist while he was in jail and diagnosed with schizophrenia, court records show.

He also agreed to pay more than $52,000 to U-Haul for damage to the truck. He most likely faces deportation once he has finished his prison term.

The area in front of the White House where Mr. Kandula drove into security barriers has been fortified in recent years after other people breached the complex.

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