Pro-Trump mail bomber Cesar Sayoc has asked to change some of the admissions he made in his March guilty plea, complaining in a hand-scrawled letter to a Manhattan federal judge that he had “fobias” and was “freaked out overwhelmed nervous with anxiety.”
In letters filed on the court docket by U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff, Sayoc indicated that he wanted to change his answers to questions about the bombs he sent, whether they were lethal, and whether he intended harm or knew his devices could kill people.
During his guilty plea, Sayoc said he was “aware of the risk that it would explode” even though he only intended to intimidate people, but in one letter he told Rakoff, “The devices would never explode or worked. The fireworks were sparkler type.”
Rakoff on Friday scheduled an April 15 hearing on the letters. He previously scheduled Sayoc’s sentencing for Sept. 12.
Sayoc, 57, of Aventura, Florida, an avid fan of President Donald Trump on social media, admitted at his March 20 plea that he was responsible for sending 16 explosive devices to prominent Democrats and liberals, including former President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Robert De Niro and George Soros.
He faces a potential life prison sentence after pleading guilty to 65 felony counts.
In the two letters, both this week, he appears to complain that he was fed answers to some questions by his defense lawyers, and that he was “not in right state of mind” despite assuring the judge during careful questioning that he was competent to plead.
“I was freaked out & overwhelmed with the amount of people, press & pressure overly intense high anxiety,” he wrote. “I was in tears, emotional nervous.”
Prosecutors have not said whether Sayoc’s mail bombs, which were intercepted, would have exploded and killed people. It is unclear whether Sayoc’s new statements will undercut his plea.
His defense lawyers declined to comment.