Fox News host Tucker Carlson ripped the Department of Justice Friday over the conviction of internet “troll” Douglass Mackey for posting memes during the 2016 election.
“After a Manhattan grand jury indicted Joe Biden’s rival in the next presidential race, another jury, also in New York, convicted a Republican social media influencer named Douglass Mackey. What did Mackey do wrong? Well Douglass Mackey’s crime was mocking Hillary Clinton voters online,” Carlson, a co-founder of the Daily Caller and Daily Caller News Foundation, said. “You’re seeing on your screen the meme that Mackey posted on Twitter during the 2016 election. In that meme, Mackey suggests it’s possible to vote for president by text message because only Hillary voters could believe something so absurd. But of course in real life, no one believed that, Mackey’s insult did not alter a single vote in the election. No one has proved otherwise. The government brought forth not a single victim of this crime. It couldn’t.”
The Justice Department announced Friday that a jury convicted Mackey over the internet memes posted during the 2016 presidential election in a press release from the United States Attorney’s office for the Eastern District of New York.
The Department of Justice indicted Mackey in January 2021, claiming he conspired “to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person … in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution.”
“Mackey was joking. Nobody believed he was a federal election official. In fact, his social media profile pictured a Donald Trump app. It was unmistakable this was mockery,” Carlson said. “But in the wake of the 2016 election and the rising hysteria about President Trump, mocking the Democratic Party became a crime. So as a result, tonight Douglass Mackey faces 10 years in prison. The case against Doug Mackey is the most shocking attack on freedom of speech in this country in our lifetime.”
Legal experts raised concerns about the trial of the 33-year-old Mackey, who posted under the alias “Ricky Vaughn,” earlier this year on First Amendment grounds.
“It is also a useful lesson on who will be allowed to speak going forward. As it turns out, a woman called Kristina Wong posted almost an identical meme that year in the 2016 election but unlike Doug Mackey, Wong voted for Hillary Clinton,” Carlson said. “‘Hey Trump supporters,’ she wrote, ‘skip poll lines and text in your vote.’ Same crime, but the Department of Justice under Joe Biden has shown no interest in prosecuting Kristina Wong. Do you see how this works? Have you internalized our new partisan legal standards? That would be the point of the exercise. They want you to know the rules.”
The Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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