Sayoc, 56, was arrested Friday and charged with five federal crimes. He’s suspected of sending mail bombs to 14 Democratic political figures and other targets of the president’s harsh attacks. The van he was apparently living in was plastered with photos of Trump and pro-Trump slogans.
“This was someone lost,“ attorney Ron Lowy told Anderson Cooper on CNN Friday.
He said Sayoc was “abandoned by his father” and was desperately seeking an identity. He “was looking for anything and he found a father in Trump,” said Lowy. Sayoc had never been politically active until Trump’s campaign for the presidency, said Lowy, who represented Sayoc in the past on various criminal charges.
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 they have a place at the table, telling them that it’s okay to get angry,” said Lowy. “I believe that was a motivating factor.”
Lowy also said that when he interacted with Sayoc “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.”
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.
Lowy said Sayoc did not appear to be sophisticated enough to carry out the bomb operation alone. “I wouldn’t be surprised to find out there were either others who helped prod or encourage him to do this or that the bombs were so crudely made they never could have worked.”
Sayoc’s “distraught” family are “simple, middle-class people who have worked hard to create a good reputation, a good name for themselves,” said Lowy, who noted that defending the suspected bomber against the full force of the federal government would bankrupt them. He has advised that Sayoc use the office of the federal public defender.
Check out the rest of Lowy’s insights in the video above. He appears on the tape beginning at 10:30.