Conservative Social Media Influencer Douglass Mackey Convicted of Election Interference
Alana Mastrangelo, Breitbart, March 31, 2023
Conservative social media influencer Douglass Mackey, also known as Ricky Vaughn, was convicted of election interference in the 2016 presidential race after posting a satirical meme on Twitter.
Mackey, who is being accused of trying to “deprive individuals of their constitutional right to vote,” was convicted on Friday by a federal jury in Brooklyn of the charge of “Conspiracy Against Rights,” the federal government announced.
The conservative meme maker is now facing a maximum of 10 years in prison.
In 2016, Mackey’s Twitter account under the name Ricky Vaughn had roughly 58,000 followers. He posted satirical memes telling people they could vote for a candidate (apparently Hillary Clinton) via text message.
The DOJ’s case against Mackey, however, raises questions about free speech rights in the United States.
As Breitbart News previously reported, the criminal complaint alleges that “at least 4,900 unique telephone numbers” sent a message with the candidate’s name to the number given, “on or about and before Election Day,” but it does not say if any of them had actually refrained from casting a real vote.
Last month, James Lawrence, a lawyer representing Mackey, told Breitbart News that the American Civil Rights Union (ACLU) “is nowhere to be found” and “MIA” with respect to the DOJ’s prosecution of his client for speech protected by the First Amendment.