Trump supporter who mailed pipe bombs to Democrats pleads guilty

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A Florida man pleaded guilty Thursday of mailing pipe bombs to prominent Democrats and critics of President Donald Trump in late 2018.

A courtroom sketch from November 2018 shows Cesar Sayoc, who pleaded guilty in NY on Thursday to sending bombs to media figures and to critics of President Trump.

Prosecutors accused Sayoc of mailing bombs through the U.S. Postal Service to Democrats such as former U.S. Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, former vice-president Joe Biden, and senators Cory Booker of New Jersey and Kamala Harris of California.

Although no bombs exploded, each new report of a device found heightened the tension in the weeks before last year's hotly contested midterm elections.

He'd been living in a van covered with Trump stickers and images of Trump opponents with crosshairs over their faces.with crosshairs over their faces.

Each device, Sayoc said, consisted of a plastic pipe with a digital alarm clock and attached wires.

The change-of-plea hearing was revealed last week after a phone conference between prosecutors, Sayoc's lawyers and a judge.

Lesley Abravanel Cesar Sayoc's van.

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"I was aware of the risk they would explode", Sayoc said.

Wayne Williams was given two life sentences in 1982 for convictions in the deaths of two adults, thought to be among 29 black children and young adults - mostly boys - who were killed. U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff asked.

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.

The hunt for the bomber began October 22 when a device was discovered in a mailbox at an estate in New York City's northern suburbs owned by the billionaire George Soros, a liberal political activist and frequent subject of conspiracy theories.

Over several days, investigators tracked the packages to a mailing center in Florida.

Sayoc mailed 16 improvised explosive devices to 13 targets around the United States, including 11 current or former US government officials, the U.S attorney's statement says. "Our democracy will simply not survive if our political discourse includes sending bombs to those we disagree with".

"Cesar Sayoc has admitted to acts of domestic terrorism that are repulsive to all Americans who cherish a society built on respectful and non-violent political discourse, no matter how strongly held one's views", Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers said, according to NBC News.

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