Florida Man Pleads Guilty to Mailing Pipe Bombs to Prominent Democrats, CNN

But at prosecutors' urging, US District Court Judge Jed Rakoff pressed him on whether he intended for them to cause physical harm.

"In alphabetical order, SAYOC's intended victims were former Vice President Joseph Biden, Senator Cory Booker, former CIA Director John Brennan, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, CNN, Robert De Niro, Senator Kamala Harris, former Attorney General Eric Holder, former President Barack Obama, George Soros, Thomas Steyer, and Representative Maxine Waters".

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.

Cesar Altieri Sayoc, 56, was arrested in late October and was scheduled to go on trial in July on charges related to using weapons of mass destruction and transporting explosives. The pro-Trump stickers that covered the nearby van condemned liberals and the media; one contained an image of Clinton under red cross hairs.

"Thankfully no one was hurt by these risky devices, but his actions left an air of fear and divisiveness in their wake", Geoffrey S. Berman, the US attorney in Manhattan, said after the plea.

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

Lesley Abravanel Cesar Sayoc's van.

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

More news: Reputed Gambino crime boss shot and killed outside home in NY

"I know these actions were wrong", he added, sobbing.

"What would prevent, for example, powder from fireworks from exploding?" the judge asked.

The slew of charges relates to 16 package bombs Sayoc sent from a Florida post office to leading Democrats as well as the Manhattan offices of CNN.

Authorities say the former stripper sent 14 mail bombs to former Secretary of State Clinton, De Niro and Soros, as well as to the CNN headquarters in NY.

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

Others targeted included California Sen. Wray also said there were potential DNA matches connecting Sayoc to some of the devices. "Our democracy will simply not survive if our political discourse includes sending bombs to those we disagree with".

He said Sayoc's crimes "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".

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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