The Florida man who mailed homemade bombs to leading Democrats and other critics of President Trump broke down in court on Thursday while pleading guilty to charges that could send him to prison for life.
“MAGA bomber” Cesar Sayoc, 57, claimed he never intended for the devices — which he packed with explosive powder from fireworks, fertilizer, pool chemicals and broken glass — to actually blow up and hurt anyone.
None of the bombs detonated, but Sayoc admitted in Manhattan federal court that “I was aware of the risk” they would.
“In October 2018, I made devices that were designed to look like bombs and sent them in the US Mail,” he said softly, while reading from a prepared statement.
“I sent 16 devices to people around the country.”
Sayoc also listed his targets as financier George Soros, Hillary Clinton, former CIA Director Jonn Brennan, actor Robert DeNiro, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, ex-President Barack Obama, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), former Attorney General Eric Holder, Sen. Cory Booker (D-New Jersey), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-California), hedge-fund billionaire Tom Steyer and CNN.
Near the end of his statement, Sayoc’s voice choked up with emotion as his body shook and he scrunched up his face, apparently holding back tears.
“I am extremely sorry,” he said in a voice barely above a whisper.
He then pleaded guilty to 65 counts of use of a weapon of mass destruction, interstate transportation of an explosive device, conveying a threat through interstate commerce, illegal mailing of an explosive device and carrying an explosive during the commission of a felony.
The weapon of mass destruction charge carries a maximum life in prison, and prosecutors didn’t promise to seek any leniency in exchange for Sayoc’s guilty pleas.
Sentencing was set for Sept. 12.