(The Hill) — A Missouri man who crashed a rented U-Haul truck into security barriers near the White House told federal agents his goal was to “seize power” and “kill the president,” according to court records.
Sai Varshith Kandula, 19, crashed the rented truck into security barriers around Lafayette Square in front of the White House late Monday, according to a statement of facts from a Secret Service agent, shared by the Department of Justice. Kandula exited the vehicle and took out a red-and-white flag with a Nazi swastika in the center before officers intervened, authorities said.
According to the filing, Kandula told agents that his goal was to “get to the White House, seize power, and be put in charge of the nation” and that he would “kill the President if that’s what I have to do and would hurt anyone that would stand in my way.”
The Chesterfield, Mo., man allegedly said he’d been planning his actions for six months and told agents that he thought they had been successful, saying “whether I got into the White House or not, my message was received.” He clarified that his message was intended for organizations like the Secret Service, according to the filing, which does not share details about what exactly the message was.
Kandula also said he purchased the swastika flag online because “Nazis have a great history” and lauded Adolf Hitler, saying he admires Nazis’ “authoritarian nature, eugenics, and their one world order,” according to the document.
The U-Haul crash damaged the security barriers, but no explosives or weapons were found with Kandula and no injuries were reported, authorities said.
Kandula had rented the truck in Virginia when he arrived at Dulles International Airport, just outside of D.C., on a one-way ticket, according to federal records.
U.S. Park Police said on Tuesday the man was arrested on charges including threatening to kill, kidnap or inflict harm on a president, vice president or member of their family; assault with a dangerous weapon; reckless driving; destruction of federal property; and trespassing.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Tuesday that President Joe Biden had been briefed on the incident. “He’s relieved that no one was injured last night and grateful to the agents and the law enforcement officer who responded so quickly,” she said.