Cesar Sayoc, the Trump supporter who mailed homemade explosive devices to more than a dozen top Democrats, was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Monday, The New York Times reports.
Sayoc pleaded guilty to 65 charges in March after he admitted to mailing 16 pipe bombs to Trump’s enemies, like the Obamas, the Clintons, and CNN.
The FBI said the pipe bombs were made of powder from fireworks, fertilizer, a pool chemical, and glass fragments but turned out to be inoperable.
Judge Jed Rakoff concluded that Sayoc intentionally built bombs that did not work, giving him a lower sentence than the life sentence prosecutors called for.
“He hated his victims,” the judge said. “He wished them no good, but he was not so lost as to wish them dead, at least not by his own hand.”
Sayoc was radicalized by Trump, his lawyers say:
Sayoc’s attorneys pleaded for the judge for leniency in sentencing memos, arguing that Sayoc was radicalized by President Trump, Fox News, and social media groups that filled his mind with conspiracy theories.
Sayoc was a Trump “super fan” who “began to consider Democrats as not just dangerous in theory, but imminently and seriously dangerous to his personal safety,” the sentencing memo said. “President Trump did nothing to dissuade this message.”
Sayoc followed “hundreds of right-wing Facebook groups,” the memo said. “Many of these groups promoted various conspiracy theories and, more generally, the idea that Trump’s critics were dangerous, unpatriotic, and evil. They deployed provocative language to depict Democrats as murderous, terroristic, and violent. ... Fox News furthered these arguments.”
El Paso mass shooter cited Trump in manifesto:
Days before Sayoc’s sentencing, a 21-year-old man killed 22 people at an El Paso Walmart and injured dozens of others.
The man wrote in his “manifesto" that “this attack is a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas.”
Much of the manifesto echoed Trump’s rhetoric and Fox News hosts.