Nazi-flag toting man who smashed U-haul into White House gate pleads guilty to felony

Kandula reportedly planned to kill Joe Biden and take control of the US

Graig Graziosi
Monday 13 May 2024 23:07
Moment truck slams into barriers near White House grounds

A Missouri man pleaded guilty to damaging government property for driving a rental truck into the gates outside the White House and waving a Nazi flag, according to court documents.

Sai Varshith Kandula, 20, drove a rented U-Haul truck onto a sidewalk in Washington, DC, and rammed it into a barrier near the White House, nearly hitting pedestrians in the heavily foot-trafficked area.

No one was injured as a result of the May 22, 2023, incident.

He faces a maximum of 10 years in prison following his Monday guilty plea to a felony charge of depredation of government property. His sentencing was set for Aug. 23.

Sai Varshith Kandula is pictured in a Marquette High School yearbook image from 2022, courtesy of the Rockwood School District. (Rockwood School District)

Prosecutors have recommended he serve no more than eight years, but presiding US District Judge Dabney Friedrich could sentence him up to the maximum.

Kandula, who was 19 years old at the time, flew from his home in St Louis to Washington, DC, and rented a truck in Herndon, Virginia. He then drove it to Washington, DC ,where he crashed it outside the White House twice.

Police did not find any weapons, ammunition or explosives on him during the arrest.

He reportedly told the Secret Service his goal was to overthrow President Joe Biden and begin ruling the United States, prosecutors said.

“When agents asked how (Kandula) would seize power, he stated he would ‘Kill the President if that’s what I have to do and would hurt anyone that would stand in my way,’” prosecutors wrote, according to the Associated Press.

He allegedly said he purchased and displayed a Nazi flag because he admires Adolf Hitler and the "great history" of the Nazis.

A U.S. Park Police officer inspects a security barrier for damage in Lafayette Square park near the White House (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Scott Rosenblum, Kandula's defense attorney, said his client is taking medication to treat schizophrenia. He is expected to call a medical specialist to speak about Kandula's condition during the sentencing hearing.

Kandula was carrying a journal with him at the time of his arrest that included passages about America under his rule, which included the moment he planned to apparently kill Biden, presumably on camera.

“As I am familiar with the [unknown] of this country being a democratic nation, and this will no longer be the case," a passage reads, according to a memo from federal prosecutors entered into the case. "There shall be consequences if civil unrest happens. To make it clear Any opposition will be met with death penalty to make it clear: (kill president) As you have seen, we will declare martial [law] until the situation has been [unknown]. We will rebuild this world."

Kandula reportedly declared he succeeded in spreading his message, even if his plan to take over the United States was thwarted by a metal pole.

"Either way, whether I got into the White House or not, my message was received," he reportedly told prosecutors.

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