The lawyer for the family of mail bomb suspect Cesar Sayoc went on CNN to paint the picture of a man who had long struggled with mental health issues and was constantly trying to find his place in the world. It seems he found something he was looking for in President Donald Trump even though he hadn’t ever been interested in politics before. “He was looking for anything, and he found a father in Trump,” attorney Ron Lowy said.
“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 they have a place at the table and it’s OK to get angry,” Lowy said. The attorney did emphasize that he believes this was a “motivating factor” and he didn’t blame the president “solely” because “this is a sick individual.”
Lowy said that it didn’t take long in his interactions with Sayoc to realize that there was something not quite right. “I began to realize that he had what I considered a lesser IQ, substantial emotional problems. He was like a 14-year-old in an adult’s body. He didn’t act like a normal individual. He wasn’t working on all cylinders,” he said. Sayoc’s family had long pushed him to get medical help but he repeatedly refused. This is a “sad result of someone who’s very sick, who didn’t get the help, became a loner, and then found a cause that adopted and accepted these types of people,” he added.
At the end of the interview, Lowy made sure to point that Sayoc “never seemed sophisticated enough to do something like he’s accused of,” adding that he “wouldn’t be surprised” if there were others involved or that the bombs simply could have never worked. “He didn’t seem to have the intellectual capacity to plan a conspiracy like this, in my opinion.”
Sayoc, 56, was charged with five federal crimes for allegedly sending explosives to several top Democrats, including former presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. He faces a maximum of 48 years in prison if convicted.
If you think Slate’s election coverage matters…
Support our work: become a Slate Plus member. You’ll get exclusive members-only content and a suite of great benefits—and you’ll help secure Slate’s future.Join Slate Plus