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Man caught with machete near DNC is charged as new details of White supremacist views emerge

Man caught with machete near DNC is charged as new details of White supremacist views emerge

US Capitol Police said they found Donald Craighead with the two weapons in his truck on Monday and that the vehicle was equipped with neo-Nazi symbols, including a swastika in the rear-view mirror.

During a brief court hearing Tuesday, he pleaded not guilty in a case of having carried a dangerous weapon outside the home. The charge is a felony and Craighead could face up to five years in prison if convicted, though defendants often receive far less than the statutory maximum sentence.

Affidavits from investigators contained new details about weapons. The machete was 21 inches long, while the second knife, which police initially described as a “bayonet” Monday, was actually a large hunting knife with a 7.5 inch blade.

During the hearing, a defense attorney requested a psychological assessment of Craighead. Investigators who interviewed Craighead said he seemed misguided and showed classic signs of mental illness.

Craighead told investigators he only planned to use the long knives for defensive purposes, according to notes from his volunteer interview.

Court Judge Lloyd Nolan ordered Craighead to remain in jail until his next court hearing. Craighead, a bald white man, was handcuffed and flanked by American marshals and wore camouflage trousers.

Legal documents unsealed Tuesday shed new light on Craighead’s extremist views. Police officers said in an affidavit that he said to them, “Why are you all pulling me out when there are brown people hurting white people.” They also said he uttered anti-gay nonsense about a prominent Latin American author and that he blamed the LGBT community for the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Police said in court that they found a handwritten inscription on the car that said “death to others, white power.”

He told investigators he was not a member of any extremist groups, according to acts. But police said he was wearing a shirt associated with “Boogaloo Boys” when he was arrested, a violent right-wing movement known for views against the government and for trying to start a racial war in the United States.

Craighead told investigators he only planned to use the long knives for defensive purposes, according to notes from his volunteer interview published Tuesday.

National security officials have, with rising alarms in recent months, warned of the threat posed by right-wing extremists and white nationalists. The Department of Homeland Security has said these extremists are being radicalized by misinformation about the 2020 election and the Covid-19 pandemic.

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