Man who crashed U-Haul into White House barrier pleads guilty

A Missouri man pleaded guilty on Monday in an attempted attack on the White House with a rented U-Haul, the Justice Department announced.

Sai Varshith Kandula pleaded guilty to one count of willful injury or depredation of property of the United States, according to a Justice Department news release. The charge carries a maximum prison sentence of 10 years.

Kandula, 20, is set to be sentenced August 23. Kandula was born in Chandanagar, India, according to the release, and was a lawful permanent resident of the US with a green card at the time of the attempted attack.

According to prosecutors, Kandula flew to Washington, DC, on May 22, 2023, from St. Louis. He rented a U-Haul after arriving at Dulles International Airport and drove to the White House, where he crashed into barriers protecting the property at the intersection of H Street NW and 16th Street NW just after 9:30 p.m. ET.

Kandula then exited his damaged vehicle and waved a banner with a Nazi swastika on it before being arrested by US Park Police and Secret Service, prosecutors said.

The crash caused $4,322 in damage to the National Park Service and more than $50,000 in damage to U-Haul International, according to the release. No agency or White House personnel were injured in the incident, the Secret Service said after the attack.

Kandula wanted to gain access to the White House to “seize political power” and replace it with a dictatorship backed by the ideology of Nazi Germany, according to prosecutors, and he had been planning the attack for weeks.

He admitted to investigators after his arrest that he would have arranged for President Joe Biden to be killed to accomplish his objective, according to the release.

A month before renting the truck, Kandula had contacted a Virginia security company to request 25 armed guards and an armored convoy, according to prosecutors — an effort that failed along with his attempts to rent other long trucks, including a commercial tractor-trailer truck and a dump truck.

CNN’s Hannah Rabinowitz, Mary Kay Mallonee and Josh Campbell contributed to this report.

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