A native of New York City’s Brooklyn borough and a registered Republican, Sayoc made his political views evident on social media. In Facebook and Twitter posts, he railed against Democrats, Muslims and liberals, including an anti-Soros tweet two days before a bomb showed up at the financier’s home.
The Arizona Republic newspaper reported that Sayoc threatened Republican U.S. Senator Jeff Flake, one of the few Republicans in Congress openly critical of Trump, in a pair of Oct. 1 Twitter posts consisting of violent imagery and a photo of Flake’s Arizona home, with the message, “… very nice house Jeff a lot entrances.”
Public records showed numerous arrests over the years for domestic violence, theft and other charges, including the alleged bomb threat against a utility company.
Sayoc was expected to be held at the Federal Detention Center in downtown Miami and make his first appearance before a judge on Monday, according to former Assistant U.S. Attorney David Weinstein.
A public defender listed as Sayoc’s attorney of record in New York, Sarah Baumgartel, could not immediately be reached for comment.
Ron Lowy, a former lawyer for Sayoc who now represents his family, told CNN he believed Sayoc was left emotionally scarred as a boy when his father left the home, developing an identity crisis in which he ultimately embraced Trump as a kind of father figure.
“It’s my opinion that he was attracted to the Trump formula of reaching out, Trump reaching out to these types of outsiders – people who don’t fit in, people who are angry at America, telling them that they have a place at the table, telling them that it’s OK to get angry,” Lowy said.
‘STOP THE RANCOR’
All the individuals targeted by the packages Sayoc is accused of sending have been outspoken critics of Trump and his administration, foils for the president and his right-wing supporters or both.
Among intended recipients earlier in the week were former Vice President Joe Biden, former Attorney General Eric Holder, actor Robert De Niro and former CIA director John Brennan, whose security clearance Trump revoked after Brennan lambasted Trump’s Russia summit performance as “nothing short of treasonous.” His package was delivered to the Manhattan bureau of CNN, where he had served as an on-air analyst.