Authorities have made an arrest in connection with the mailing of live explosive devices to critics of Donald Trump and his destructive, Republican Party-supported regime. Cesar Sayoc Jr., fifty-six, of Aventura, Florida, was taken into custody today in the parking lot of a shopping center in Plantation, which is near Fort Lauderdale. He is a registered Republican with a criminal record.
Sayoc is a Florida resident, but he is originally from New York.
A white van belonging to the suspect — adorned with pro-Trump and anti-CNN stickers — was seized, wrapped in a blue tarp, and towed away.
The Department of Justice just held a news conference headlined by Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FBI Director Christopher Wray.
Wray said that thirteen devices have been intercepted by authorities, and that Sayoc is being charged with five federal crimes which carry a sentence of up to fifty-eight years. The bombs were not hoax devices, Wray emphasized.
A fingerprint found on the package sent to Representative Maxine Waters was crucial to allowing the FBI to pinpoint Sayoc as the suspect, Wray said.
Sessions and Wray said they would not discuss whether Sayoc was cooperating with investigators, or what his motivation was. They did spend a lot of time touting the “unbelievable work” done by the FBI and its many partner agencies.
Asked why Sayoc was targeting Democrats, Sessions hesitated, and then said: “I don’t know other… than what you might suspect.”
Among the MAGABomber’s targets were former President Barack Obama, former Vice President Joe Biden, the Clintons, U.S. Representative Maxine Waters, investor and philanthropist George Soros, and the actor Robert de Niro.
Sens. Kamala Harris and Cory Booker, as well as former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and billionaire philanthropist Tom Steyer, were the latest high-profile figures targeted by suspicious packages. https://t.co/q3CXoDSK5u pic.twitter.com/9mn9a3FhPp
— ABC News (@ABC) October 26, 2018
None of the devices reached their targets, and miraculously, no one has been injured by the devices… at least not so far.
Trump has of course not bothered to reach out to the Obamas, Clintons, or Bidens since authorities began intercepting the packages meant to harm them.
Authorities don’t know if all of the devices mailed by the bomber (allegedly Sayoc) are accounted for. Those that have been recovered so far have been sent to the FBI’s lab in Quantico, Virginia, for analysis. The work done by the lab was instrumental in the apprehension of the suspect.
The FBI has not said if Sayoc is believed to have acted alone.
This much we do know: Donald Trump and his enablers have been regularly encouraging and inciting the likes of Sayoc to commit violent acts through their irresponsible rhetoric. Trump is therefore partly responsible for these attempted acts of terrorism. So is the Republican Party.
The Republican Party was on a neofascist path before Trump came along, but under Trump, its march towards darkness has accelerated.
1) For some reason, folks on the right have extremely short memories when it comes to acts of right-wing political violence. This is especially the case when they are in the middle of a propaganda campaign to make “the left” look violent. A long thread with lots of pix follows. pic.twitter.com/D6MtFP4k65
— David Neiwert (@DavidNeiwert) October 15, 2018
The President is supposed to protect the people of this country — all the people of this country, not just their own party and their own base — from harm.
But Trump isn’t interested in discharging the very serious and very important responsibilities of the office he holds. He only cares about the trappings of the office, the power, and the bully pulpit that goes with it.
And his Republican enablers, including Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell, are okay with this. They’re getting what they want: tax cuts for their donors and right wing judges on the Supreme Court and other important courts in this country.
Trump regularly bashes the Democratic Party and the press at his rallies. He has, on many occasions, made comments clearly intended to incite violence. He has even offered to pay the legal bills of people who commit violent acts.
Trump just now: “The safety of the American people is my highest and absolute priority, we have to unify & send a clear message that acts of political violence have no place in US.”
— Holly Fιɢυeroα O’Reιlly (@AynRandPaulRyan) October 24, 2018
Cesar Sayoc is a Trump admirer. Footage has already been found of him at Trump hate rallies. He is part of Trump’s base of violence-prone, militant extremists.
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) October 26, 2018
Sayoc is unfortunately not an atypical Trump supporter, because so many Trump supporters have demonstrated a proclivity to violence.
Check out the photo below of a Trump supporter wearing a shirt which says: “Rope. Tree. Journalist. Some Assembly Required.”
— Alt. U.S. Press Sec. (@AltUSPressSec) October 24, 2018
Some Republicans, blind to the reality of what is happening in their party, may not wish to acknowledge this truth. But it’s important the rest of us understand it and say it. What’s happening right now in this country is not normal. It is disgraceful, it is disgusting, and it must be called out and addressed by all true patriots.