Man Sentenced for Election Disinformation Campaign Mocking Hillary Clinton

Man Sentenced for Election Disinformation Campaign Mocking Hillary Clinton

Douglass Mackey, also known as a social media prankster, has been sentenced to seven months in prison, a $15,000 fine, and two years’ probation for his involvement in a disinformation campaign during the 2016 election. Mackey’s conviction stems from a Twitter post in which he mocked Hillary Clinton by encouraging voters to text “Hillary” to a fake number to vote from home.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Erik Paulsen, Frank Turner Buford, and William Gullotta argued that Mackey and his co-conspirators attempted to deceive voters into placing their ballots into a fake virtual ballot box, fully aware that these votes would not count. They urged Judge Ann M. Donnelly to impose a sentence of six to 12 months.

While the tweet in question was swiftly removed by Twitter, and the owner of the fake number clarified the situation, the Department of Justice pursued the case, presenting evidence from Clinton campaign workers who testified that the meme constituted dangerous disinformation. The trial took place in Manhattan, with a judge appointed by President Bill Clinton presiding.

Federal prosecutors also obtained anonymous testimony from an alleged online co-conspirator who claimed that Mackey’s intention was to sway the election in favor of Donald Trump. However, no evidence was presented to demonstrate that Mackey’s actions affected any actual votes in the election.

Critics argue that Mackey’s conviction sets a concerning precedent for free speech, as it could have a chilling effect on online expression. They also question the use of resources to prosecute a case that had no tangible victims.

The sentencing of Mackey has sparked debate about the role of the Justice Department and its alleged partisan motivations. Some argue that if disinformation campaigns are considered criminal, then other individuals, such as Hillary Clinton for funding the Steele dossier or the 50 former intelligence officials who signed a letter regarding the Hunter Biden laptop, should also face legal consequences.

Moving forward, there are calls for Republicans to address concerns about the Justice Department’s handling of cases involving conservatives once they have control of the House.



Author: CrimeDoor

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