Cesar Altieri Sayoc, the Florida man known as the MAGAbomber, pleaded guilty on Thursday to sending bombs to perceived enemies of President Donald Trump.
Cesar Sayoc has pleaded guilty to 65 federal charges stemming from a spate of package bombs sent to critics of President Trump. Federal prosecutors more than doubled the number of charges immediately prior to the plea hearing
— Aaron Katersky (@AaronKatersky) March 21, 2019
Targets included former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, actor Robert de Niro, billionaire philanthropist George Soros, and former President Barack Obama, prosecutors say. The defendant’s social media activity showed he was a huge Trump fan. He seemed to subscribe to conspiracy theories that teenage gun control advocate David Hogg was a “paid protester.” He also endorsed anti-Semitic conspiracy theories about Soros.
Most targets were Democratic politicians, but all were perceived to be Trump critics. Only some, like de Niro, made their criticisms in colorful terms, but all were known, one way or another, to be opponents of the president’s policies. Trump has consistently called CNN’s coverage–often coverage he doesn’t like–“fake news.” Sayoc was clearly responsive to those comments, as his van displayed a “CNN sucks” sticker.
Other recipients included: former President Bill Clinton, former CIA Director John Brennan, CNN, former Attorney General Eric Holder, Rep. Maxine Waters, former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Cory Booker, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. There were also reports of suspicious packages sent to billionaire Tom Steyer and Sen. Kamala Harris.
Sayoc, a registered Republican and bodybuilder, was known in Florida for driving a white van covered in pro-Trump stickers. Those who knew him said he held violent, reactionary views. The supervisor of a pizza restaurant Sayoc used to work at told the Washington Post that Sayoc voiced genocidal attitudes toward black, Jewish, and gay people.
Sayoc pleaded not guilty in November, but the court docket last week signaled he would plead guilty in today’s hearing.
Aaron Keller contributed to this report.
[Mugshot via FBI]