A man once prosecuted and banned from Washington, D.C., for jumping the White House fence is accused of another brazen security breach.
Court records reviewed by the News4 I-Team said the U.S. Secret Service arrested Jonathan Tran, after Tran allegedly tried to to enter the office of Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and a vocal supporter of President Donald Trump.
Prosecutors said Tran wanted to testify before Congress about a Russian dossier.
According to charging documents, police found Tran with a checklist and several books, including “Trump: The Art of the Deal.” He also told them he had a knife but not with him at the Capitol. The charging documents did not specify how or when Tran tried to enter Rep. Nunes’ office but said U.S. Capitol Police notified the Secret Service after Tran was seen walking to the steps of the U.S. Capitol the afternoon of July 6.
Tran, 27, pleaded guilty to a federal trespass charge in 2017 after climbing a fence on the White House grounds. The incident occurred nearly one month after Trump’s inauguration. According to a 2017 review of the case by the News4 I-Team, Tran spent more than 15 minutes on the grounds of the White House before he was arrested in 2017. Tran was carrying two cans of mace and books at the time. He made it up to one of the doors of the White House before he was confronted and arrested.
According to his 2017 plea agreement, Tran is prohibited from entering the District of Columbia during his supervised release from prison. According to court filings, Tran is also prohibited from possessing or having access to a dangerous weapon. Prosecutors said Tran violated terms of his probation when he was found with the knife in his possession in D.C. last week.
A spokesman for Rep. Nunes declined to comment.
Charging documents from prosecutors said U.S. Capitol Police questioned Tran at the Hotel Harrington, which is three blocks from the White House. According to the court filings from the U.S. Attorney for Washington, D.C., “Tran stated that he knew he was in violation of his court ordered probation but felt a burning desire to testify on Capitol Hill about his Russian dossier theories publicized following the 2016 presidential campaign.”
Tran bought a one-way ticket from California, according to the court filings, with no plans to return to his home in San Jose.
A judge ordered Tran to serve a 15-day jail sentence for the probation violation. Defense attorneys did not reply to requests for comment.
Tran is expected to undergo more strict electronic monitoring after his release from jail, prosecutors said.