Published: Fri, March 22, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Man Charged With Sending Bombs To Trump Critics Pleads Guilty

Man Charged With Sending Bombs To Trump Critics Pleads Guilty

Cesar Sayoc, the Florida man accused of sending pipe bombs to CNN and other prominent critics of President Trump, pleaded guilty on Thursday. None of the devices ultimately exploded.

In an emotional statement, Mr Sayoc apologised for his actions and stated he had created the explosive devices using materials including firework powder, the Washington Post reported. That means the government could take his van covered in stickers of Trump's enemies - many of them prominent Democrats - with crosshairs.

During his court appearance Thursday, Sayoc read aloud a statement and said he "made devices created to look like" a bomb and sent them through the mail.

"I'm truly sorry, " he said.

Sayoc had been scheduled to go on trial this summer on charges that he mailed rudimentary bombs to 16 targets, including Bill and Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, several members of congress, former President Barack Obama and the actor Robert De Niro.

When asked by the judge whether he had planned for the devices "to explode", Sayoc replied, "no sir". Sayoc is also accused of sending bombs to actor Robert De Niro and to CNN's NY office - which prompted an evacuation of the Time Warner building.

MAGA Bomber Cesar Sayoc weeps in court while pleading guilty to sending bombs

The bombs began turning up weeks before the hotly contested midterms, contributing to an already tense political environment. "Thankfully no one was hurt by these unsafe devices, but his actions left an air of fear and divisiveness in their wake".

Sayoc has been held without bail since his late-October arrest outside a South Florida auto parts store. At times he seemed confused and asked the judge questions. One, addressed to the former Central Intelligence Agency director John Brennan, was sent to CNN in NY.

Sayoc, who became emotional as he wrapped up his remarks, apologized and said, "I know these actions were wrong".

Sayoc, of Aventura, Florida, is a bodybuilder who worked as a dancer for several years and most recently as a pizza delivery driver. Prosecutors said the evidence against Sayoc included DNA that linked him to 10 of the devices and fingerprints on two of them.

The indictment said others targeted by the mailings received similarly marked pictures of themselves along with the explosives.

Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers added: "Our democracy will simply not survive if our political discourse includes sending bombs to those we disagree with".

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