Satire as election interference? NY grand jury convicts conservative for meme aimed at Hillary voters

by WorldTribune Staff / 247 Real News March 31, 2022

A conservative maker of satire memes faces a maximum of 10 years in prison after being convicted Friday by a federal jury in Brooklyn of the charge of “Conspiracy Against Rights,” the federal government announced.

“Mackey has been found guilty by a jury of his peers of attempting to deprive individuals from exercising their sacred right to vote for the candidate of their choice in the 2016 Presidential Election,” United States Attorney Breon Peace said on Friday.

via grandoldmemes on Telegram

“Today’s verdict proves that the defendant’s fraudulent actions crossed a line into criminality and flatly rejects his cynical attempt to use the constitutional right of free speech as a shield for his scheme to subvert the ballot box and suppress the vote,” Peace added.

A meme Mackey posted on Twitter in 2016, that struck most as satire, urged supporters of Hillary Clinton to vote by text.

The U.S. Department of Justice charged the effort constituted election interference but no evidence was provided showing any voters were deceived by the meme.

Mackey said other Clinton supporters had posted similar memes encouraging Trump supporters to vote by text without consequence.

An expert witness for the defense withdrew from the trial after being contacted by a reporter from the Southern Poverty Law Center.

In 2016, Mackey’s Twitter account under the name Ricky Vaughn had some 58,000 followers.

“Between September 2016 and November 2016, Mackey conspired with other influential Twitter users and with members of private online groups to use social media platforms, including Twitter, to disseminate fraudulent messages that encouraged supporters of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to ‘vote’ via text message or social media,” the government said

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