Man who rammed U-Haul truck into White House security barrier pleads guilty

His attack was motivated by Nazi ideology, court papers say.

May 13, 2024, 4:24 PM

A man who drove a U-Haul truck into metal barriers outside of the White House in May 2023 pleaded guilty on Monday, admitting he carried out the attack fueled by Nazi ideology and an intent to replace the U.S. government.

Sai Varsith Kandula, a non-U.S. citizen who was residing in St. Louis before traveling to Washington, D.C., to carry out the attack, admitted in court papers he planned it for "several weeks" in advance.

PHOTO: The U.S. Secret Service and other law enforcement agencies investigate a rented box truck that crashed into security barriers at Lafayette Park across from the White House in Washington, May 23, 2023.
The U.S. Secret Service and other law enforcement agencies investigate a rented box truck that crashed into security barriers at Lafayette Park across from the White House in Washington, May 23, 2023.
Nathan Howard/Reuters

"Kandula admitted to investigators that he would have arranged for the killing of the U.S. President and others if necessary to achieve his objective," his plea papers say. "His actions were calculated to influence or affect the conduct of government by intimidation or coercion."

The ramming of the truck sent law enforcement scrambling around the area around 9:30 p.m. on May 23 of last year, as nearby civilians ran panicked from the scene.

As he exited the vehicle, Kandula pulled out a three-by-five-foot red and white Nazi flag from a backpack he was carrying and displayed it before being taken into custody.

PHOTO: The U.S. Secret Service and other law enforcement agencies investigate a rented box truck that crashed into security barriers at Lafayette Park across from the White House in Washington, May 23, 2023.
The U.S. Secret Service and other law enforcement agencies investigate a rented box truck that crashed into security barriers at Lafayette Park across from the White House in Washington, May 23, 2023.
Nathan Howard/Reuters

The ramming caused roughly $4300 damage to the metal barriers.

Kandula is set to be sentenced on Aug. 23 in Washington and will remain in government custody through that date, court records say.