UPDATED: Federal authorities have arrested a man in connection with the mailing of packages containing suspected explosive devices to CNN, top Democrats, and other prominent public figures.
Attorney general Jeff Sessions said Cesar Sayoc, 56, of Aventura, Fla., will be charged with five federal crimes including the mailing of explosives.
A press conference is planned for Friday afternoon.
News reports showed FBI officials and other authorities surrounding a white van outside of an AutoZone auto parts store in Plantation, Fla. The vehicle was covered in stickers, including those bearing images of President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, as well as the phrase “CNN sucks” and documentarian and vocal Trump critic Michael Moore. Law enforcement put a blue tarp over the van as it was readied to be towed away. It was not clear if this was the suspect’s vehicle, nor was it clear if others were involved.
CNN, citing law enforcement sources, reported that the man was in his 50s, with an Aventura, Fla. address, and that he has a criminal history.
A total of 12 packages have been found, and the FBI has been examining the devices contained in each at its facility in Quantico, Va.
Earlier on Friday, authorities retrieved two more packages — one addressed to Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and the other to former director of national intelligence James Clapper, and addressed to CNN, according to law enforcement sources.
The package sent to CNN was discovered at a mail facility in Manhattan. The delivery to Booker was found in Florida.
Like the other intended recipients of the packages, Booker and Clapper have been critics of Trump. Clapper is a contributor for CNN. The source of the packages is under investigation, and authorities have not said whether there is a motive.
Like other packages, the one sent to Clapper listed Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) as a return address. It’s unclear if that was the reason that the package to Booker was discovered in Florida. Wasserman Schultz is the former chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee.
Others were addressed to former President Barack Obama, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, former attorney general Eric Holder, billionaire philanthropist George Soros, two to Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), and two to former Vice President Joe Biden. CNN received a package that was sent to former CIA director John Brennan.
Moore issued a statement about his photo being on the van later on Friday, slamming Fox News and Trump:
“The accused bomber plastered a picture of me on the side of his van, with a crosshairs target over my face. Actually, the target is over my neck, which I’ll take as a minor concession on his part.
The threat of right-wing violence against figures on the American left is not new. It is not an aberration. It is not a violation of norms. It IS the norm. Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News Channel and right-wing radio have preyed upon those who’ve seen their American Dream go up in smoke, and they have helped to create a generation of angry and violent conspiracy theorists who will believe any lie that is perpetrated on those airwaves. These angry right wing men have been openly encouraged to act on those lies, even as late as this very morning when Trump was tweeting his doubts that the bombs were real.
Sadly, the new and dangerous dynamic of political violence in America is that it is now promoted and encouraged by the President of the United States.
We must vote out of office all enablers of this man and the violent culture he instigates and nurtures. There are millions and millions of us who will never be intimidated, who will never back down, and who will show up on Election Day.”