The suspect accused of driving a U-Haul truck into the barriers near the White House on Monday is not a United States citizen, authorities revealed.
Suspect Sai Varshith Kandula, 19, of Chesterfield, Missouri, appeared in court on Wednesday and federal prosecutors told the court that he is not a US citizen, according to NBC News.
However, an official with the Department of Justice official clarified the federal prosecutors opening remarks later in the evening and explained that Kandula holds a green card, the outlet reports.
During the brief court hearing, Magistrate Judge Robin Meriweather ordered Kandula to be held without bail until his next court appearance on May 30.
Diane Shrewsbury, Kandula’s defense lawyer, told reporters after the court proceedings that she is unable to comment on the case because she had only met Kandula minutes pror to the hearing, according to NBC News.
Kandula faces charges including assault with a dangerous weapon, reckless operation of a motor vehicle, the threat to kill, kidnap, or inflict bodily harm on a President, Vice President, or family, destruction of federal property, and trespassing.
The question that arises from this case is whether or not the judge will have suspect Sai Varshith Kandula will deported because he is not a United States citizen, which immigration attorney Cori Alonso-Yoder said deportation will most-likely be the outcome.
“Most likely, ‘yes,’ he’ll be deported if convicted,” Alonso-Yoder told the network. “If he’s convicted of those facts, then it’s most likely a removable charge.”
On Monday night, suspect Sai Varshith Kandula was taken into custody after allegedly using a U-Haul truck to slam into security barriers near the White House.
According to Secret Service spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi, the truck crashed on the northern side of Lafayette Square at around 10 pm.
“Shortly before 10:00 p.m. Monday, Secret Service Uniformed Division officers detained the driver of a box truck after the vehicle collided with security barriers on the north side of Lafayette Square at 16th Street,” Guglielmi said in a statement.
He added that there were no injuries to any Secret Service or White House personnel and that the crash is under investigation but that the preliminary investigation reveals the driver may have intentionally crashed into the barriers.
Authorities allegedly pulled a Nazi flag from the truck and later deemed the scene safe after finding no explosives or weapons that could cause harm.
One law enforcement official told NBC News that Kandula had made threatening statements about the White House and was quickly detained.
“I don’t think there’s any place for a Nazi flag or the statements that he made,” the official said.
The White House said that President Biden was briefed on the matter Tuesday morning by Secret Service and Park Police but did not indicate whether or not Biden was aware of the incident when as it played out on Monday evening.
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