U-Haul Driver Who Attacked White House Had Notes About Ending US Democracy

Wim De Gent
By Wim De Gent
May 31, 2023USshare
U-Haul Driver Who Attacked White House Had Notes About Ending US Democracy
A U-Haul box truck is seen crashed into a security barrier at a park opposite the White House in Washington, on May 22, 2023. (Benjamin Berger via AP)

Sai Varshith Kandula, the 19-year-old man who crashed a rental truck into security barriers near the White House, had notes about wanting to end U.S. democracy, a prosecutor has revealed.

On May 22, Kandula drove a rented U-Haul truck into barriers near the White House in what authorities have described as a pre-planned attack. When the truck broke down, he exited the vehicle and took out a Nazi flag from the back of the truck. He was unarmed at the time of the incident and was taken into custody without incident.

According to a memo filed (pdf) by a prosecutor on May 26, Kandula kept a journal—the “green book,” as he called it. The book contained entries about harming family members and other people, as well as a speech prosecutors believe Kandula sought to give live on air after taking over the country.

The DA’s memo included a transcript of the speech, which explains part of Kandula’s intention of ending democracy in the United States.

“My fellow citizens of United States,” the speech opens, “I shall like to start of this broadcast by saying that this moment of history what has come up at this time during this takeover of this nation by our movement [sic], this movement will not only extend within our nation but to the rest of the world as you will see pretty soon.”

It continues: “As I am familiar with the [unknown] of this country being a democratic nation, and this will no longer be the case. There shall be consequence [sic] if civil unrest happens. Any opposition will be met with death penalty to make it clear: (kill president).”

“As you have seen, we will declare martial until the situation has been [unknown]. We will rebuild this world, and put a new system in place once the objective has been achieved,” the speech continued.

The speech ended with a Nazi salute spelled incorrectly: “Sieg hail.”

During questioning by the U.S. Secret Service last week, Kandula said his goal had been to “get to the White House, seize power, and be put in charge of the nation.” He had also confessed to his intentions of killing the U.S. President “if that’s what I have to do.” Apparently, it was his plan to do so live on air.

Kandula, who is of Indian descent, told investigators of his strong sympathies for national socialism. During questioning, he said that he admired the Nazis’ authoritarian nature, eugenics, and their world order, and described Adolf Hitler as “a great leader.”

At the moment, it is unclear how Kandula envisioned taking over the entire United States single-handedly. Still, he declared his attack a success, as he told Secret Service investigators that his intention had been to send a message “to us.”

When asked what he meant by “us,” Kandula said he was referred to all organizations like the U.S. Secret Service. He added that his “green book” would get to those who needed to see it.

“Whether I got into the White House or not, my message was received,” he said.

According to the court memo, Kandula has no criminal record and no stable income. His last known residence is at his parents’ home in Chesterfield, St. Louis.

Prosecutors said Kandula was a danger to the community and posed a flight risk because of his previous visits to family in India. He is a lawful permanent U.S. resident and is subject to deportation if convicted.

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