Posted on May 26, 2023

Driver of U-Haul That Rammed White House Gate Is Not a U.S. Citizen, Prosecutors Say

Daniel Barnes and David K. Li, NBC News, May 24, 2023

The man accused of ramming a U-Haul truck into barriers near the White House earlier this week isn’t a U.S. citizen, authorities said Wednesday.

Sai Varshith Kandula, a 19-year-old from suburban St. Louis, wore an orange jail-issued jumpsuit in his brief courtroom appearance — his first since the Monday incident — when prosecutors requested pre-trial detention.

Sai Kandula

Sai Kandula

A government prosecutor told the court that Kandula is not a citizen or lawful permanent resident.

But later on Wednesday, a Department of Justice official clarified the open-court remarks and said Kandula does hold a green card for lawful, permanent U.S. residency.

The suspect’s national origin wasn’t mentioned in court.

A college student who was on the same high school track team with Kandula told NBC News on Tuesday that they’re both members of the sizable Indian American community in Chesterfield, Missouri.


The defendant potentially faces multiple charges — including threatening to inflict harm on a president, vice president or family member — as the case moves forward.

In courtrooms across America, prosecutors and defense lawyers every day hash out charges against green card holders with deportation as a key bargaining chip.

But under the circumstances of Monday night, immigration attorney Cori Alonso-Yoder said she can’t foresee a scenario where Kandula would be offered any deal to remain in the U.S.


The suspect’s loved ones will likely not face any repercussions from Monday night, no matter their immigration status.


The young man from suburban St. Louis has allegedly told authorities he admires Nazis and had hoped to “seize power” following his U-Haul crash, officials said.