Accused mail bomber Cesar Sayoc's lawyers say he prefers to have a detention hearing in New York City, rather than in Miami.
Lawyers for Cesar Sayoc say they do not know when their client will be sent to New York. It could be today, it could be in a series of van rides through county jails in a transport that takes a month.
Lawyers Daniel Aaronson and Jamie S. Benjamin described the evidence against Cesar Sayoc as "flimsy," saying feds used words like "possible DNA" which is not admissible in court.
Sayoc is being held in an isolation unit known as "the shu."
Cesar Sayoc's lawyer, Daniel Aaronson, represented Sayoc in a few shoplifting cases. He described his former client as among the most respectful clients he has ever had.
Aaronson said he hopes Sayoc is innocent of these charges.
The defense lawyers said they asked to have accused mail bomber Cesar Sayoc's detention hearing in NY so that his lawyers in NYC can see the case through from beginning to end.
https://twitter.com/FrancesRobles/statu ... 0660108288
Cesar Altieri Sayoc Charged in 30-Count Indictment With Mailing Improvised Explosive Devices in Connection With Domestic Terrorist Attack
Sayoc Allegedly Mailed 16 IEDs to 13 Victims Across the United States and Now Faces Charges Including Use of Weapons of Mass Destruction, Interstate Mailing of Explosives, and Use of Destructive Devices During Crimes of Violence
Cesar Altieri Sayoc, aka Cesar Randazzo, aka Cesar Altieri, and aka Cesar Altieri Randazzo, 56, was charged today in a 30-count Indictment for offenses relating to his alleged execution of a domestic terrorist attack in October 2018, which involved the mailing of 16 improvised explosive devices (IEDs) to 13 victims throughout the country.
Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers, U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman for the Southern District of New York, Assistant Director in Charge William F. Sweeney Jr. of the FBI’s New York Office, and Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill of the NYPD made the announcement. The case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff.
“According to court filings, Cesar Sayoc mailed 16 IEDs to more than a dozen victims throughout the country, including current and former elected leaders. Less than five days after the first IED was discovered, he was tracked down and arrested, thanks to the outstanding work of the FBI, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and other law enforcement partners,” said Assistant Attorney General Demers.
“Cesar Sayoc allegedly targeted former high-ranking officials such as President Barack Obama, President Bill Clinton, Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and others, as well as CNN, by sending explosive packages to them through the U.S. Postal Service,” said U.S. Attorney Berman. “Sayoc’s alleged conduct put numerous lives at risk. It was also an assault on a nation that values the rule of law, a free press, and tolerance of differences without rancor or resort to violence. Thanks to the diligent and determined work of our law enforcement partners here and across the country, it took just five days to identify and apprehend Sayoc and end his reign of terror. He now faces justice from a nation of laws.”
“As alleged, Cesar Sayoc deliberately targeted 13 individuals with 16 improvised explosive devices, attempting to create an atmosphere of fear and intimidation from California to the eastern seaboard,” said Assistant Director in Charge Sweeney. “Thanks to the seamless integration of FBI JTTFs across the country, working side-by-side with many other law enforcement agencies and first responders, his campaign of terror was brought to a rapid conclusion just five days after the discovery of the first device. The FBI remains steadfast in our mission to protect the American public, and we will move with speed to bring justice to anyone seeking to harm our communities.”
“I commend everyone involved in investigating and prosecuting this case, particularly the agents and detectives on the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force in New York, which includes 56 agencies and 300 individuals – 113 of them NYPD cops,” said Commissioner O’Neill. “Standing shoulder to shoulder with the FBI, the ATF, the U.S. Marshals, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the New York State Police, and others, we said from the outset that we would identify and bring to justice the person allegedly responsible for these acts. We could make that promise because of our proven history of effective partnership. The public’s vigilance also greatly assisted this investigation and helped lead to today’s 30-count indictment. What is clear is that New Yorkers are always resilient in the face of threats – we refuse to back down, and we will never be deterred.”
According to the Indictment, Complaint, other court filings, and statements made during court proceedings:
Between Oct. 22 and Nov. 2, the FBI and the U.S. Postal Service recovered 16 padded manila envelopes containing IEDs allegedly mailed by Sayoc from Florida to addresses in New York, New Jersey, Washington, D.C., Delaware, Atlanta and California. Sayoc’s alleged victims, listed alphabetically, were former Vice President Joseph Biden, Senator Cory Booker, former CIA Director John Brennan, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, CNN, Robert De Niro, Senator Kamala Harris, former Attorney General Eric Holder, former President Barack Obama, George Soros, Thomas Steyer, and Representative Maxine Walters.
Each of the 16 envelopes allegedly mailed by Sayoc had similar features, including the return addressee “Debbie Wasserman Shultz” at an address in “Florids,” six self-adhesive postage stamps bearing the American flag, and address labels printed on white paper with blank ink in similar typeface and font size. Each of the 16 envelopes also contained an IED. The 16 IEDs also had similar features, including approximately six inches of PVC pipe packed with explosive material, a small clock, and wiring. Some of the IEDs also contained shards of glass.
Preliminary analysis by the FBI has revealed forensic evidence linking 11 of the 16 mailings to Sayoc. Specifically, latent fingerprints on two of the envelopes have been identified to Sayoc, and there are possible DNA associations between a DNA sample collected from Sayoc prior to his arrest in this case and DNA found on components from 10 of the IEDs (including one of the IEDs that was mailed in an envelope from which a latent fingerprint identified to Sayoc was recovered).
The FBI arrested Sayoc in Plantation, Florida, on Oct. 26 – less than five days after the Oct. 22 recovery of the first IED, which Sayoc allegedly mailed to Soros in New York. The FBI seized a laptop from Sayoc’s van in connection with the arrest that contained lists of physical addresses that match many of the labels on the envelopes that Sayoc allegedly mailed. The lists were saved at a file path on the laptop that includes a variant of Sayoc’s first name: “Users/Ceasar/Documents.” A document from that path, titled “Debbie W.docx” and bearing a creation date of July 26, contained repeated copies of an address for “Debbie W. Schultz” in Sunrise, Florida, that is nearly identical, except for typographical errors, to the return address that Sayoc allegedly used on the packages. Similar documents bearing file titles that include the name “Debbie,” and creation dates of Sept. 22, contain exact matches of the return address allegedly used by Sayoc on the 16 envelopes.
Sayoc possessed a cellphone at the time of his arrest, and the FBI’s ongoing forensic analysis of the device has revealed additional evidence. For example, Sayoc allegedly used the phone to conduct the following Internet searches, among others, on the dates indicated:
July 15: “hilary Clinton hime address”
July 26: “address Debbie wauserman Shultz”
Sept. 19: “address kamila harrias”
Sept. 26: “address for barack Obama”
Sept. 26: “michelle obama mailing address”
Sept. 26: “joseph biden jr”
Oct. 1: “address cory booker new jersey”
Oct. 20: “tom steyers mailing address”
Oct. 23: “address kamala harris”
Sayoc’s phone also contained photographs of some of the victims.
* * *
Sayoc, a U.S. citizen, is charged in the Indictment with 30 counts: one count of six different offenses for each of the five IEDs that he allegedly mailed to Clinton, Brennan, Clapper, Soros and De Niro in the Southern District of New York. In aggregate, the 30 counts in the Indictment carry a potential maximum penalty of life imprisonment, and a mandatory minimum penalty of life imprisonment. A chart providing more information regarding the charges and potential penalties is set forth below. The statutory penalties are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant would be determined by the judge.
Penalties Per Count
1 – 5
Using a weapon of mass destruction
Maximum per count: life
6 – 10
Interstate transportation of an explosive
Maximum per count: 20 years
11 – 15
Conveying a threat in interstate commerce
Maximum per count: 5 years
16 – 20
Unlawful use of mails
Maximum per count: 10 years
21 – 25
Carrying an explosive during the commission of a felony
Minimum for first conviction: 10 years
Minimum for additional convictions: 20 years
26 – 30
Using and carrying a destructive device in furtherance of a crime of violence
Maximum per count: life
Minimum for first conviction: 30 years
Minimum for additional convictions:
Mr. Demers and Mr. Berman praised the outstanding efforts of the FBI’s New York Joint Terrorism Task Force, which principally consists of agents from the FBI and detectives from the NYPD, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Mr. Demers and Mr. Berman also thanked the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida for its assistance.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sam Adelsberg, Emil J. Bove III, Jane Kim, and Jason A. Richman of the Southern District of New York are in charge of the prosecution, with assistance from Trial Attorneys David Cora and Kiersten Korczynski of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section.
https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/cesar-al ... ve-devices
Hillary Clinton mail bomber: New details in court documents
Christopher J. EberhartUpdated 6:06 p.m. ET Nov. 10, 2018
A suspected mail bomber searched for Hillary Clinton's home address in July before mailing 16 improvised explosive devices to Democratic political figures and media outlets across the nation between Oct. 22 and Nov. 2, according to court documents.
Cesar Altieri Sayoc, a 56-year-old South Florida man, was charged in Manhattan federal court in a 30-count indictment on Friday. Ten of the charges are connected to explosives sent to George Soros' Katonah home and the Clintons' Chappaqua home.
SOROS: Bomb 'components' in explosive device found at George Soros' home in Bedford: 'Not a hoax'
EXPLOSIVES' SIMILARITIES: National Guard dispatched to Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, image of pipe-bomb packages released
The package for the Clintons also contained a photo of Hillary Clinton and members of her family marked with a red "X," according to the federal indictment.
"Sayoc’s alleged conduct put numerous lives at risk," US Attorney Geoffrey Berman said in a statement. "It was also an assault on a nation that values the rule of law, a free press and tolerance of differences without rancor or resort to violence."
Sayoc was arrested on Oct. 26 in Plantation, Florida, on Oct. 26, five days after the first explosive was discovered at Soros' Katonah compound.
During the arrest, FBI agents seized a laptop from his van that contained lists of addresses that matched many of the labels on the envelopes, prosecutors said.
Cesar Sayoc's van, covered in political stickers supporting Donald Trump and opposing the president's critics.
Cesar Sayoc's van, covered in political stickers supporting Donald Trump and opposing the president's critics. (Photo: Imon Karim/USA TODAY Network)
A document titled "Debbie W.docx" with the creation date of July 26 was also found on the laptop, according to prosecutors. Schultz's address was used as the return address on each of the packages.
The FBI recovered his Internet search history on his cellphone and found a July 15 search of "hilary Clinton hime address" (sic), prosecutors said.
His phone also had pictures of photographs of some of his targets, according to prosecutors.
five counts of using a weapon of mass destruction. Each count carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.
five counts of interstate transportation of an explosive. Each count carries a maximum of 20 years in prison.
five counts of conveying a threat in interstate commerce. Each count carries a maximum of five years in prison.
five counts of unlawful use of mails. Each count carries a maximum of 10 years in prison.
five counts of carrying an explosive during the commission of a felony. Each count carries a minimum of 10 years to a max of 20 years in prison.
five counts of using and carrying a destructive device in furtherance of a crime of violence. Each count carries a maximum of life in prison. The minimum sentence for the first conviction is 30 yeras and then the minimum is 30 years for each additional conviction.
In addition to the Clintons' and Soros' Westchester homes, Sayoc is accused of sending explosives to:
former Vice President Joe Biden
Sen. Cory Booker
former CIA Director John Brennan (which was sent to the New York City CNN building)
former Director of Intelligence Intelligence Director James Clapper
actor Robert De Niro
Sen. Kamala Harris
former Attorney General Eric Holder
wealthy hedge fund manager and philanthropist Thomas Steyer
and Rep. Maxine Waters.
Forensic evidence collected by the FBI during its preliminary analysis linked 11 of the 16 mailings to Sayoc, prosecutors said.
Fingerprints on two of the envelopes have been identified to Sayoc, and there are possible DNA associations between a DNA sample collected from Sayoc before this arrest and DNA found on components from 10 of the IEDs, (including one of the IEDs that FBI collected a fingerprint from), prosecutors said.
https://www.lohud.com/story/news/crime/ ... 946711002/
Joe Hillshoist » 31 Oct 2018 10:14 wrote:What is it with the left and violence...
Weeping ‘MAGAbomber’ Cesar Sayoc Brought Low in Guilty Plea
March 21, 2019
MANHATTAN (CN) – When he mailed out 16 pipe bombs to the perceived political, financial and media elite late last year, Cesar Sayoc delivered what many interpreted as a howl of anger from the underbelly of “MAGA” America.
A 2015 booking photo of Cesar Sayoc in Miami. The Florida man who sent pipe bombs to perceived critics of President Donald Trump pleaded guilty in Manhattan on Thursday to federal charges. (Broward County Sheriff’s Office)
But on Thursday afternoon, even amplified by a microphone, Sayoc’s raspy voice could barely be heard as he confessed in federal court to 65 crimes that could put him away for life.
“I mailed them from South Florida to George Soros, Hillary Clinton, John Brennan, Robert de Niro, James Clapper, Barack Obama, Maxine Waters, Eric Holder, Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Thomas Steyer and CNN,” Sayoc said, reading listlessly from a prepared statement about his 2018 packages.
Designed to “look like pipe bombs,” the 57-year-old Sayoc added: “The devices consisted of a plastic pipe with a digital alarm clock with wires attached to it.”
Sayoc acknowledged that the packages could have done real harm. He confirmed that he meant to “threaten and intimidate people,” but he stopped short of admitting more than an “intent to injury property.”
“Inside the plastic pipe was powder from fireworks, fertilizer, pool shock and some glass fragments,” he said. “I also put pictures of the recipients with red Xs over their faces inside the package.”
As they arrested Sayoc in October, authorities also found images of prominent Democrats in crosshairs splayed across the suspect’s white van covered with President Donald Trump’s slogans, a vehicle that appeared to double as the 57-year-old’s home.
“I know that these actions were wrong, and I am extremely sorry,” Sayoc said, weeping.
As described by U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman, Sayoc “rained terror across the country” in October 2018.
“Thankfully no one was hurt by these dangerous devices, but his actions left an air of fear and divisiveness in their wake,” Berman said in a statement.
A resident of Aventura, Florida, Sayoc appeared visibly shaken when asked if he understood how much prison time he could face as a result of today’s plea.
U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff can only go as low as 10 years, and federal sentencing guidelines recommend a term of life imprisonment plus another decade.
“Apparently because the government believes it has power over the hereafter,” Rakoff quipped darkly.
Cutting through the carefully crafted language of Sayoc’s prepared remarks, Rakoff pressed the bomber on what he anticipated would happen to his targets.
“Did you intend that they would in fact explode?” Rakoff asked.
“No, sir,” Sayoc replied.
The denial sparked a follow-up question from the judge about what would have prevented the explosives he sent from detonating.
“I was aware of the risk that it would explode,” Sayoc confirmed.
Had the case gone to trial, prosecutors anticipated calling forensic experts on explosives and destructive devices and DNA and fingerprint analysis.
The Department of Justice had been silent on Sayoc’s motive, and Trump tried to distance himself from the man he called “this crazy bomber.”
Judge Rakoff found Sayoc of sound mind to deliver his plea after some brief questioning. Sayoc acknowledged receiving psychiatric treatment and, asked if he had ever been treated or hospitalized for alcoholism, replied: “Yes, I have in the past.”
Media outlets noted that Sayoc’s threats to journalists closely tracked Trump’s attacks on the press.
Three days after Trump called the news media the “enemy of the people” in February 2017, Sayoc tweeted to Fox News’ Chris Wallace: “The Press is the enemy.”
News of Sayoc’s change of plea emerged last week, shortly after a white-supremacist attack on a mosque killed 50 people in Christchurch, New Zealand. The U.N. Security Counsel has since called for a global clampdown on white-supremacist violence.
Sayoc will be sentenced on Sept. 12.
https://www.courthousenews.com/magabomb ... 65-counts/
The hearing of #MAGABomber Cesar Sayoc is about to begin. Sayoc is trying to walk back his guilty pleas from March, when he admitted that he knew the 16 pipe bombs he mailed could have hurt people.
Sayoc admits that he mailed the packages, but in two handwritten messages from jail, he now disputes this statement he made: "I was aware of the risk that it would explode."
Pictured: His scrawled edits rewriting what he said.
I'll be covering this hearing live.
The hearing begins. The attorneys identify themselves.
Judge Rakoff says that Sayoc sent a third letter, which has not yet been docketed.
"I think the immediate questions is whether we need to vacate his plea," Rakoff said.
AUSA says the letters should be treated as a request to vacate his plea.
Sayoc's counsel: It is our understanding that Mr. Sayoc is not asking to have his plea vacated.
Rakoff: Regardless of who his counsel is, am I required to vacate his plea?
Sayoc's counsel contends that none of his guilty pleas require him to have an intent to harm people.
Judge Rakoff reads from the statutes; one batch includes an "intent to kill or injury property."
In typical droll fashion, Rakoff wonders how Sayoc could have an intent to injure property and not kill or injure people.
He asks whether the concept is "The thing would explode, but by the grace of God" people would be spared.
Rakoff explains to Sayoc that his letters are part of the public record and explains the Miranda warnings that implies.
Again, Sayoc is barely audible.
Q: You knew, didn't you, if those exploded or caught fire or in any way .. that could have injured people or property?
A: Yes, sir.
Sayoc adds that his intent was to "scare and intimidate."
Rakoff asks the government: "In light of those statements, can the plea stand?"
Rakoff asks Sayoc whether he stands by his original allocution. Sayoc confirms yes.
Considering that Sayoc agrees that the bombs could have injured people or property - whatever their intent - and stands by his original allocution, all of the parties agree that the plea can stand.
AUSA reveals that the FBI made a roughly 100-page report finding that the pipe bombs could have exploded.
The parties will argue the likelihood of that outcome at sentencing.
Rakoff asks whether he still believes, as he wrote in his letters, that his attorneys pressured him to make statements.
"No, your honor, I just felt, just rushed.”
Rakoff asks Sayoc whether he wants to keep his attorneys.
A: “Yes, Your Honor.”
Rakoff indicates that Sayoc's third, as-of-yet undocketed letter may contain Sayoc's medical information.
"My practice is to limit redactions" except for anything that absolutely should be, he notes.
Sayoc's counsel asks to fast-track sentencing to Aug. 5, bumped up from an original date of Sept. 12.
Proceedings adjourned. Story ahead at @CourthouseNews
One more thing: There's a big qualifier on that FBI finding about the bombs.
"**If properly assembled and initiated,** they could have exploded."
https://twitter.com/KlasfeldReports/sta ... 4124595203
Domestic terrorist Cesar Sayoc faces sentencing today for mail bombs to:
*Robert De Niro
Covering it live
Prosecutors have described Sayoc’s spree of mail bombs as a “two-week terrorist attack.”
Sayoc’s attorneys recently said their client “found light in Donald J. Trump.”
ICYMI, @CourthouseNews https://www.courthousenews.com/attorney ... d-j-trump/ … https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/sta ... 10816?s=21 …
Sayoc sent mail bombs to two CNN newsrooms and has said: “The Press is enemy,” echoing Trump’s slogan the “enemy of the people.”
In their last brief, prosecutors highlighted Sayoc’s misspelled, racist slurs in Facebook rants against Obama, Waters, and Holder.
The proceedings will start at 2pm, and I will tweet out context in the lead-up to it.
Almost 30 minutes to the sentencing.
In their most recent brief, prosecutors responded to Sayoc's claim that these were "hoax" bombs by highlighting his admissions to the contrary.
"He placed thousands at risk," Assistant U.S. Attorney Sam Adelsberg wrote.
Here is the prosecution's passage on his "domestic terrorism" aims to "silence public discourse and chill civic participation."
The prosecution's reply brief is here:
https://www.usatoday.com/documents/6231 ... on-motion/ …
It responds to the defendant's brief here:
https://www.courthousenews.com/wp-conte ... ission.pdf
https://twitter.com/KlasfeldReports/sta ... 5335064576
The sentencing begins.
Attorneys introduce themselves:
AUSAs: Jane Kim, Emil Bove, and Sam Adelsberg
(Explosive experts also on-hand to answer questions)
Defense attorneys: Ian Marcus, Sarah Baumgartel, Amy Gallicchio
U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff notes the sentencing guidelines call for life imprisonment plus 10 years.
He quips he "hopes the angels are listening" to the U.S. sentencing guidelines.
(The judge also notes he's not bound by them.)
FBI bomb technician Kevin D. Finnerty clarifies his pre-sentencing report:
"It would not have worked with the design the individual put in those bombs," he said.
Pressed by Judge Rakoff about whether there was a remote chance of detonation, he adds: "Yes, there is a remote chance," from mishandling.
Finnerty says that the bombs were handled by robots at the FBI's Quantico laboratory.
Dale Mann, another expert, sworn in for testimony.
Judge Rakoff asks him whether he agrees that the bombs had a remote chance of explosion.
"Only in the broadest sense," Mann replies.
Rakoff asks about narrow sense.
Mann describes "inert materials and energetic material," and adds that the ones in these bombs were "negligibly reactive."
Psychiatric experts sworn in, starting with Harrison G. Pope.
Rakoff, who received his J.D. at Harvard, notes that Pope is a fellow alum.
"But I will disregard that," he adds, to laughter in the court.
They move onto Sayoc's steroid use.
Pope: "The nature of the effects that he described has a characteristic, stereotypical quality that I have witnessed numerous times," from hard steroid use.
Neither party questions the witness.
One last witness.
Dr. First opines that Sayoc had from a "severe" disorder marked by predisposition to be paranoid, disconnected and impulsive.
"If he weren't taking steroids, this probably wouldn't have happened," First said, noting he's always been untreated.
Asked by a defense attorney whether he could be safely released if not sentenced to life, First says that he could if he could be treated.
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5m5 minutes ago
Sayoc's counsel Ian Marcus notes his family is in the courtroom and calls for a light sentence.
Rakoff interjects: "He created, did he not, a climate of fear and terror going on day after day for several weeks?"
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3m3 minutes ago
Rakoff respond to the defense argument that the 57-year-old won't be a threat after he leaves prison.
"I'm not sure I understand the argument about age," he says, noting he committed these crimes well into his 50s.
Sayoc's counsel responds: No matter what, he's going to be in prison into his late 60s.
He adds social science supports that threat declines with age, as recognized by the First Step Act.
Rakoff: "Forgive me, but that does not seem to fit his profile," referring to Sayoc.
Marcus elaborates on his client's prior arrest in 2002 for threatening to blow up an energy company.
Everything in his life prior to this offense resulted in no jail time, the attorney noted. He never even needed to admit to his guilt in these offenses.
Sayoc's defense counsel:
After prior incidents, people said of Sayoc: "He's simple-minded. He's naive."
He was more vulnerable when his child left the family when he was young.
He was sexually abused over a year.
Started steroids at age 15, "off-the-chart" young.
Rakoff: "I thought people didn't start using steroids until they received a contract to play professional sports."
Marcus says that Sayoc obsessively read self-help books.
"In particular, the books with Donald Trump really resonated with him," he said.
Marcus on his client Sayoc:
"He's using these self-hope books to cope," and he becomes "obsessed" with Donald Trump, buying his branded suits and ties.
He's reading these conspiracy theories.
He's exposed to a lot of hateful ideas, conspiracy theories, misinformation.
"He slowly became deranged by it," Marcus says, referring to Sayoc's response by the misinformation.
Marcus: "We believe that the President's rhetoric contributed to Mr. Sayoc's actions in this offense."
Marcus says he understands why the DOJ has avoided this topic, noting that they report to the executive branch.
Rakoff cautions about linking the two: "Correlation and causation are two very different things as the cliche would have it, and very correctly so."
Marcus responds that the president's rhetoric resonated with Sayoc deeply because of his client's mental illness.
Rakoff presses the attorney on the other sentencing considerations beyond motive, like deterrance: "Assuming everything you just said, how far does it go?"
Marcus responds that "10 years is not a slap on the wrist."
Sayoc's attorney on the bombs: "It was scary, and this was serious," but nobody was killed and injured and they wouldn't have detonated.
He says if you get a zero on a test, you're trying to get it wrong.
Rakoff: "You send an inoperative pipe bomb to various, high-level political figures, intending... that they will react with great fear, and it will be punishment for their 'wrongful' political views or deterrent for future 'wrongful' political views."
Rakoff: He tried to send a "torrent of fear" across the country.
Marcus: "He wasn't thinking rationally." He was a man sitting in a van living alone.
Marcus argues his client wasn't seeing clearly, and he's not defending his acts anymore.
"He is really really sorry and really really afraid," he says.
"The tears of regret flowed freely," he adds, calling his client a "different person" today.
Marcus on Sayoc:
"This is a man who is willing to get help. He wants it. He needs it."
"So altogether we're asking for a 121 months. The guidelines are not appropriate here."
Prosecutors are now up:
AUSA Jane Kim argues for the government.
She starts going through a timeline listing all of the mailings and receipts of the bombs, with Sayoc "reveling" in the national headlines from the attacks.
Going through the 16 pipe bombs recovered across the country, Kim says: "The defendant's campaign of terror was national in reach and extremely serious."
She notes that the defendant's request amounts to less than a year in prison for each of these pipe bombs.
She also notes that if Sayoc intended them to be "hoax" bombs, he could have packed them with sand instead of glass and explosive materials.
"Even if the likelihood of explosions were remote, these IEDs were still dangerous," she says.
Rakoff presses the prosecutor on testimony by the government expert earlier in the hearing that these were not likely to detonate.
Rakoff acknowledges that the materials in these bombs were obviously not packed "lovingly," but points to other expert testimony that firecrackers and chlorine mailed commercially across the country.
He presses on Sayoc's intent.
Kim: In 2016, he starts researching how to make mail bombs how to make pipe bombs.
Rakoff interjects that this foreknowledge may suggest he knew how to make a working pipe bomb.
Kim: "These may not have been the most sophisticated bombs, but they did pose a danger," including the postal workers.
"This was not a whim or reaction in one moment in time," she says, referring to it as a longtime record of hate.
Rakoff: "I think on the one hand you're right that like 99.9% of the defendants who appear before me, he has excuses and justifications for aspects of his conduct."
"On the other hand, I'm not particularly impressed by the defense arguments that he's now incredibly remorseful."
Kim: "Politics cannot justify a terrorist attack." Politics here can't justify 16 bombs.
Rakoff calls the issue a "sideshow."
They move on.
Kim: It's important for this court to send a message to the public that this sort of conduct is unacceptable.
Rakoff notes that's the principle of general deterrence and presses on "specific deterrence," i.e. would Sayoc be safer if treated.
Kim: "There are many, many people in this country who use steroids."
This is the first one, she notes, that she is aware of where one commits "a terrorist attack using 16 IEDs."
AUSA says Sayoc "set out to terrorize people" and "set out to silence people" who were government officials or former government officials.
"We think that is extremely harmful to the public and to the country," she says, adding it warrants a life sentence.
Instead of the defense replying to government argument, Dr. Pope returns to the stand to rebut the prosecutor's remarks on steroid use.
Rakoff questions him.
Very brief. No new ground.
Sayoc's up now.
Sayoc: "I am beyond so very sorry for what I did. I am forever thankful to my superwoman mother."
He goes through a list of other family members.
"I am so very sorry for what I did and what I put you through."
Sayoc: I prepared my speech in writing because I knew that I would be emotional... I had a very hard time in life after my dad left me... and after being sexually assaulted at a Catholic boarding school.
Sayoc: "Now that I am a sober man, I know that I am a very sick man... I know I should have listened to my mother, the love of my life."
"I wish more than anything that I could turn back time and take back what I did."
"I feel the pain and suffering of these victims."
Judge Rakoff takes a 10 minute recess before pronouncing the sentence.
Rakoff says he'll release a written decision as well.
He begins: "In a nation like the United States, that rightly places such a strong value on individual autonomy."
Rakoff notes that the federal guidelines call for a sentence that's "sufficient but no greater than necessary."
"If any of us had the misfortune to face sentence, who would we want to be sentenced by?" Rakoff asks, a judge looking at generalities or the specific facts.
Rakoff: The bombs were designed to strike "fear and terror" in the hearts of the victims.
Rakoff: In at least three of the victims -- Biden, Clinton and Soros -- the bombs were sent to personal residences, sending the message that no one was safe.
"Just, so who is the human being who perpetrated these horrific acts of domestic terrorism?"
Rakoff notes Sayoc was abandoned by his father, sexually abused by his teachers.
He later became a petty thief and made a verbal threat to his energy company, an act the judge notes in hindsight may be viewed as "a portent for worse to come."
Rakoff: Sayoc became "infatuated" in Trump.
Though not legally insane, Sayoc became "obsessive" and "paranoic," he notes.
"Does any of this matter?" Rakoff asks, referring to "unfortunate circumstances" leading up to his crimes.
"Yes," he says, "within modest limits."
Rakoff: A defendant's intent is as important as his actions.
"That does not mean that we can ignore for one moment a defendant's actions and its consequences."
Rakoff: "The issue that's most in dispute in this case" is Sayoc's intent, that is, did he intend to kill and/or maim his targets, even if the chance was remote.
Was Sayoc a "careless or unskilled pipe bomber," or try to intimidate them?
Rakoff finds that Sayoc "was fully capable of concocting pipe bombs capable of exploding," and since he didn't, Rakoff believes that was "in the court's view, a conscious choice."
BREAKING: 20 years imprisonment.
Rakoff calls that sentence "no more" and "no less" than what he deserves.
Sayoc's counsel ask for him to incarcerated in Florida and be enrolled in residential drug treatment.
Rakoff agrees to recommending the former, not the latter, saying he won't make his sentence any lighter.
The sentencing is over. Look out for the story soon @CourthouseNews.
https://twitter.com/KlasfeldReports/sta ... 4360570880
Cesar Sayoc Gets 20 Years for Mail-Bomb Spree
ADAM KLASFELDAugust 5, 2019
MANHATTAN (CN) — Handing a 20-year sentence to the Florida man who addressed a series of mail bombs to perceived critics of President Donald Trump, a federal judge rebuked Cesar Sayoc on Monday for spreading a “torrent of fear” across the country.
Ahead of a federal judge’s decision Monday to sentence Cesar Sayoc to 20 years in prison, defense attorneys attributed Sayoc’s mail-bomb activity in part to fervor for the rhetoric of President Donald Trump. This image of Sayoc at a Trump rally appeared in one of the defense’s presentencing memos.
Sayoc, 57, arrived in the Manhattan court for sentencing this afternoon after a pair of domestic terrorist attacks over the weekend left the country rattled.
Though none of the bombs mailed by Sayoc caused any carnage, U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff observed in court that the message was clear.
“You send an inoperative pipe bomb to various, high-level political figures, intending … that they will react with great fear, and it will be punishment for their ‘wrongful’ political views or deterrent for future ‘wrongful’ political views,” Rakoff said.
The U.S. federal sentencing guidelines called for a much more severe punishment — life in prison, plus 10 years — but Sayoc received a sentence far closer to earth from Rakoff, whose antipathy for U.S. mass incarceration is well documented.
Quipping that the “angels are listening” to the prosecution’s demands, Rakoff focused instead on the defendant seated before him.
“So,” the judge asked, “who is the human being who perpetrated these horrific acts of domestic terrorism?”
Though he cried during a previous hearing, Sayoc kept his composure as he read a scripted statement recounting his neglect by an absent father and childhood sexual abuse at a Catholic boarding school.
“I am beyond so very sorry for what I did,” Sayoc said.
Prosecutors characterized Sayoc’s mail-bomb spree last October as a “two-week terrorist attack” that targeted President Barack Obama; ex-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; ex-Attorney General Eric Holder, Congresswoman Maxine Waters; former CIA Director John Brennan, ex-national intelligence director James Clapper; actor Robert De Niro; liberal financiers George Soros and Tom Steyer; CNN newsrooms in New York and Atlanta; and Democratic candidates Joe Biden, Cory Booker, and Kamala Harris.
Two forensic experts testified early in the hearing today that, even if technically possible, the chance that Sayoc’s bombs could have maimed or killed people had been remote.
Recounting evidence that Sayoc had researched mail bombs in 2016, Rakoff found that his ineffectual construction of the bombs was “a conscious choice.”
“Does any of this matter?” Rakoff asks, referring to the “unfortunate circumstances” leading up to his crimes.
“Yes,” Rakoff said, answering his own question, “within modest limits.”
Psychiatric experts gave sworn testimony as well, citing Sayoc’s heavy steroid use, which supplemented his career as a bodyguard, as a contributing factor to the attack.
Defense attorneys portrayed Sayoc meanwhile as an emotionally and intellectually vulnerable drifter who was previously apolitical until catching Trump fever.
“We believe that the president’s rhetoric contributed to Mr. Sayoc’s actions in this offense,” defense attorney Ian Marcus said, adding that he understood why the Department of Justice would not want to explore that motive.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jane Kim called the matter immaterial.
“Politics cannot justify a terrorist attack,” Kim said, noting that Sayoc left 16 pipe bombs in his wake.
Brushing aside national politics as a “sideshow,” Judge Rakoff said of the Trump connection: “Correlation and causation are two very different things, as the cliché would have it, and very correctly so.”
In a brief that preceded today’s hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Sam Adelsberg noted that Sayoc’s threatening and hateful messages to elected officials long predated the crimes that landed him in court today.
Going back to 2001 and 2002, Sayoc posted furious missives on Facebook where he hurled misspelled racist slurs against black politicians including Obama, Waters and Holders, whom he called “nigers.”
Sayoc now stands a possibility of leaving prison in his mid-to-late 70s, if released earlier for good behavior.
Sayoc’s sentencing comes days after three white men used military-style weapons to kill and maim civilians in El Paso, Texas; Gilroy, California; and Dayton, Ohio. Two out of those three attacks have confirmed signs of white-supremacist domestic terrorism.
The El Paso shooter uploaded an alleged anti-immigrant screed on 8chan, an extremist website whose server terminated service after the attacks.
Before the attack on the Gilroy Garlic Festival, the suspect urged his followers to read the 19th century proto-fascist tract “Might Is Right.”
Dayton’s police chief called it “irresponsible” to speculate as to the motives of dead suspect behind the attack on their city while the investigation is ongoing.
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