Anti-Democrat mail bomber Cesar Sayoc wants to start a nonprofit and tour the country to help other “loners and hurt people” stay off the “same path” he followed, according to his latest hand-scrawled prison letters to the judge set to sentence him in August.
“I can change so many lives through touring throughout the United States,” Sayoc wrote in one letter posted on the court’s docket Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff. “There are a lot of lonely people that feel helpless, left back and cling to ideology. I would like to make a difference and change in the world.”
Sayoc, 57, an avowed fan of President Donald Trump who drove a van plastered with pro-Trump stickers, pleaded guilty in March to 65 felonies for a campaign last year to send 16 devices with explosives to former President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and other targets.
His first post-plea letters to Rakoff said he had “fobias” at the time of his guilty plea, and led to a hearing last week where Sayoc reaffirmed the plea, but continued to question whether the devices were designed to explode. Prosecutors haven’t said if they would have blown up if opened.
In the two rambling letters posted Tuesday by Rakoff, Sayoc ranged widely across his life’s landscapes. He claimed he was molested as a child at a Catholic school, mentally damaged by decades of steroid abuse, saved by self-help books penned by Donald Trump and others, victimized by leftists who sabotaged his truck in Asheville, North Carolina, and attacked at a Chicago rally he attended.
Sayoc’s federal public defenders, in a letter also filed Tuesday, opposed Rakoff’s suggestion their client might need court-ordered psychological evaluation and treatment, arguing that they already prepared expert evaluations for Sayoc’s sentencing, including one by a specialist focused on the effects of his steroid use.
“We believe that these two reports will provide the Court with ample information about Mr. Sayoc's mental health,” said the lawyers, who argued that a court-ordered review might also require relocating Sayoc from the New York City federal lockup and delay sentencing.
In his letters, Sayoc, a former male dancer from Aventura, Florida, repeatedly returned to issues he faced as a child, saying self-help books by Trump, Anthony Robbins and others provided a “band-aid” and describing the sense of community he experienced when Trump emerged as a political force.
“You were no longer a loner and becoming part of something, if you weren’t at a rally it was all over social media, TV, radio, Facebook, Twitter,” he wrote. “It was political war between the right and left.”
He called out many of the targets of his mailed devices by name and denounced Democrats, accusing them of fomenting attacks, such as repeated damage to his Trump-festooned van in Asheville and elsewhere. He also said that his van's gas lines were cut and wires disconnected that could have endangered him.
“I almost lost my life over it,” he wrote in one of the letters. “The liberal left Democrat leaders encourage attacks and violence. … My van would have blown up. I was on front lines of war between right and left.”
But he also portrayed himself as a victim of a time in which political warfare has intensified, expressing remorse and pledging to stay away from it all in the future.
“It is a poison,” he wrote. “It will drive you crazy like it or not. Once you get caught up you cant get out.”
Prosecutors have not filed a response to the judge’s suggestion of a court-ordered mental health exam. Sayoc’s sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 5.