Jailed for Memes: MAGA Influencer Douglas Mackey Gets Seven-Month Sentence

US Attorney General Merrick Garland holds a press conference on recent law enforcement act
Ricky Vaughn / Twitter.com, OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images

An Obama-appointed judge in New York City has sentenced Douglas Mackey, who operated the influential pro-MAGA Twitter account “Ricky Vaughn” in 2016, to seven months behind bars for “election interference.”

Mackey was arrested by the DOJ shortly after Joe Biden took office in 2021. The case brought against him alleged that he interfered in the 2016 election because of a joke tweet telling people to “text their vote” to Hillary Clinton’s campaign line.

Breitbart News’s Joel Pollak broke down the legal case against Mackey shortly after his arrest, noting that a leftist comedian posted exactly the same joke in reverse and faced no legal repercussions:

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.”

It does not say whether any of them refrained from casting a real vote.

Neither the complaint nor the FBI’s accompanying press release explains, however, how the government plans to survive a First Amendment challenge.

The law makes it a crime to “injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person … in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right.” It does not specifically say anything about providing false information.

The sentence, handed down by Obama-appointed federal court Judge Ann Donnelly, followed a New York jury conviction of Mackey in March of this year.

As noted by Mackey’s legal team, prosecutors are using similar methods to prosecute Donald Trump and members of his team.

Via Memedefensefund.com:

Despite living in Florida, Mackey was prosecuted in the Eastern District of New York before two liberal judges and was convicted. He was sentenced to seven months in federal prison on October 18, and ordered to report federal prison on January 8, 2024. He will appeal the case. Reversing this conviction is essential not just to protect his own freedom, but to prevent politically motivated suppression of free speech for all Americans. Mackey was charged under 18 USC 241, known as the Ku Klux Klan Act, which was passed to stop violent deprivations of civil rights in the aftermath of the Civil War. The Biden Justice Department is now using this against other political enemies.

Most notably, Special Counsel Jack Smith has is using this statute against President Donald Trump for his “disinformation” around the 2020 election, with most legal experts citing Mackey’s case as the trial balloon. The Justice Department has also used it to prosecute pro-life activists. 

Mackey’s attorneys intend to appeal the case to the Supreme Court, on First Amendment and other grounds.

Editor’s Note: This article was edited to correct an error about the defendant’s sentence.

Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. He is the author of #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.