Does the String of Packages Reveal Something Bigger?
By: Dejon Virgo
The midterm elections of 2018 continue to add to the nation’s extreme political divide, and the events of last month are proof of that. According to ABC News, a package containing a pipe bomb was sent to the house of billionaire liberal philanthropist George Soros in Katonah, NY on Monday, October 22nd.
The next day, another bomb was found in Chappaqua, NY addressed to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Just hours later, a third package was found in Washington, D.C for former President Barack Obama.
On Wednesday, October 24th during their broadcast, CNN received a package at their New York City office containing the same device for former CIA Director John Brennan. In Maryland two packages were stopped at mailing facilities, both addressed to California Democrat Maxine Waters.
It doesn’t stop there. During the week, several more pipe bomb packages were found near the homes and offices of prominent politicians. The devices were safely removed by the FBI, and none of them went off.
Authorities went to the home of Florida Democrat Debbie Wasserman Schultz. There was a package meant for former Attorney General Eric Holder, but it had Congresswoman Schultz’s return address on it.
Authorities concluded that she had no connection with the packages.
Later that night, another two packages were sent to former Vice President Joe Biden in Delaware. On Friday, October 26th, another package was sent to Robert De Niro’s production company in New York.
The next day, a package was addressed to New Jersey Democratic Senator Cory Booker, but was intercepted in Opa-locka, Florida. James Clapper, former Director of National Intelligence, was supposed to receive a package in New York too.
Later that day a thirteenth package was stopped in Sacramento, California for Senator Kamala Harris. The fourteenth and final package was found in Burlingame, California and meant for billionaire activist Tom Steyer.
The devices sent to these high-profile Democrats and their offices were concealed in a manila envelope, all labeled with a return address to Schultz.
In addition to being Democrats, these individuals have all criticized President Trump or were criticized by the President himself at his rallies. Authorities were able to track down the suspect to an autozone in Plantation, Florida and arrested him on October 26th, ABC News reported.
The suspect is Cesar Sayoc, a 56 year-old Trump supporter. When authorities found Sayoc in the parking lot, they also found his van that was covered in pro-Trump and Republican stickers. The windows of the van were also covered with anti-CNN and Democrat pictures that the authorities will use as evidence.
Sayoc is charged with five federal crimes including interstate transportation of an explosive and illegal mailing of explosives. If he is convicted, he could face up to 48 years in federal prison.
The FBI was able to track down Sayoc because of a fingerprint left on the bomb addressed to Congresswoman Waters.
“Once I knew they had a print I was pretty confident that we’ll be able to find the right person,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said.
Sayoc’s fingerprint was in the system due to his previous arrests, including one for a bomb threat back in 2002. Once his fingerprint was discovered, authorities used his cellphone to track him down.
President Trump condemned the violence on Friday, October 26th at the White House. “We must never allow political violence to take root in America, can not let it happen and I’m committed in doing everything in my power as President to stop it.”
“We want all sides to come together in peace and harmony, we can do it,” Trump states. Some say that the President’s extreme rhetoric is fueling the political climate and causing these radical events.
The President says he is not to blame. “If you look at what happened to Steve Scalise, that was from a supporter of a different party.” Scalise is a Republican Congressman that suffered a gunshot wound at a GOP baseball game in 2017.
When asked about toning down his rhetoric, he replied, “I think I’ve been toned down, if you want to know the truth. I could really tone it up because as you know the media’s been extremely unfair to me and to the Republican Party.”
For now the Commissioner of the NYPD wants you to know one thing: “Today’s arrest means that New Yorkers and the people across our country are safe. But, as Director Wray said, there might be more packages out there, so everyone still needs to take caution.”