The Capitol Police on Monday said they arrested a 44-year-old California resident for possessing several illegal knives outside the Democratic National Committee Headquarters, which comes as the Capitol is already on high alert ahead of a rally to support Capitol riot defendants.
The Capitol Police said in a statement they arrested Donald Craighead of Oceanside, California for possession of prohibited weapons, specifically a bayonet and a machete.
The weapons were found at midnight in a pickup truck with “a swastika and other white supremacist symbols painted on it,” and an American flag instead of a license plate, the statement said
Photos posted by the Capitol Police show the truck has multiple swastikas drawn on the interior and exterior of the truck, in addition to several ancient runic symbols commonly used by white supremacist groups.
Craighead “said he was ‘on patrol’,” and “began talking about white supremacist ideology and other rhetoric pertaining to white supremacy,” before he was arrested, the statement said.
The statement added that it is “not clear” if Craighead was planning to attend any upcoming demonstrations or has “ties to any previous cases in the area,” likely alluding to the “Justice for J6” rally scheduled for Saturday.
The Capitol community is reeling from several violent events this year: the Capitol riot, the Good Friday attack and a bomb threat last month. The DNC and the Republican National Committee, both located near the Capitol, were targets during the Capitol riot, with pipe bombs found outside both buildings after being placed there the night before January 6.
“We intend to have the integrity of the Capitol be intact,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said last week when asked about the possibility that the Justice for J6 event will bring violence to the Capitol. The Capitol Police said they are “closely monitoring” the event, with the D.C. Metropolitan Police stating they will have an “increased presence” around the city on Saturday.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), who sits on a House select committee investigating the Capitol riot, said in a CBS interview on Sunday that the fence around the Capitol will be re-installed ahead of the event. “We shouldn’t be at this point where we are truly worried for the seat of government every few months when there is a protest,” he added.