The attorney representing Cesar Sayoc, the Trump-obsessed man who sent explosives to the president’s political enemies last fall, told a court on Monday that President Donald Trump helped make his client “deranged.”
According to Courthouse News reporter Adam Klasfeld, attorney Ian Marcus argued during a sentencing hearing that Sayoc deserved leniency in part because he’s a disturbed man whose mind has been twisted by conspiracies and misinformation promoted regularly by the president, such as the false claim that he only lost the 2016 popular vote because of “illegal” voters in California.
“He slowly became deranged by it,” Marcus said of the conspiracy theories. “We believe that the President’s rhetoric contributed to Mr. Sayoc’s actions in this offense.”
The 57-year-old Sayoc, whose van was infamously covered with pro-Trump paraphernalia, last fall sent explosives to the residences of former Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Kamala Harris (D-CA), as well as to billionaire George Soros, who has often been a target of right-wing conspiracy theories.
Sayoc earlier this year pleaded guilty to sending the explosive packages and now faces at least a decade in prison.