Officers on patrol noticed the Dodge Dakota pickup truck around midnight on Sunday. Police say the truck didn’t have a license plate but instead a picture of an American flag.
The officers pulled over the truck and noticed a bayonet and machete, which are illegal in the District of Columbia. The driver, identified as 44-year-old Donald Craighead of Oceanside, California, was arrested.
The arrest came hours before Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger told reporters that the US Capitol Police board has approved the department’s request to reinstall temporary fencing around the building ahead of the planned rally this weekend. Fencing was erected around the Capitol following the deadly January 6 riot though it was eventually pared back and removed over the summer.
Congressional leaders — including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer — attended a security briefing in Pelosi’s office Monday morning with Manger to discuss security preparations for the rally. The top Democratic and Republican lawmakers on the House Administration Committee are also expected to receive separate security briefings in the coming days, another source said.
Pelosi said on Monday that the security plan ahead of a planned rally at the Capitol on September 18 “seems much better,” echoing Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s remarks after the security briefing. But Pelosi noted she doesn’t “have anything to compare it to, because we weren’t briefed before,” referring to the January 6 insurrection.
“So it’s not like I can compare it to before but … I’m sure we’ll have ongoing communication,” she added after leaving the briefing.
Asked by CNN whether the National Guard would be brought in for the September 18 rally, Pelosi responded: “You’ll have to ask the police board.”
This story has been updated with additional developments Monday.