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Things are certainly heating up in the biggest free speech trial in the country: The DOJ vs Douglass Mackey.
As you likely know by now, Mr. Mackey is facing 10 years in prison for sharing an anti-Hillary meme.
Revolver covered the story of this monumental “free speech” case in a bombshell article that highlighted why this is the most important First Amendment trial in the country.
You might not know much about Mackey’s case. It’s far less notorious than the January 6 prosecutions, or the murder trial of Kyle Rittenhouse. But in terms of how much the speech matters for American liberty, it is as important as either of those — perhaps more so.
In January 2021, shortly after the January 6 incident inaugurated a national anti-MAGA crackdown, the Department of Justice charged Mackey with “conspiring … to deprive individuals of their constitutional right to vote.”
Mackey’s offense? Illegal memes.
Specifically, the DOJ claims that the above meme merits a prison sentence of up to ten years, for violation of 18 U.S. Code § 241. The law, which concerns “Conspiracy against rights,” is a subset of the Enforcement Act of 1871, better known as the Ku Klux Klan Act.
The DOJ’s argument is that, by posting the above memes on Twitter in 2016, and designing it to resemble a Hillary Clinton ad, Mackey deceived the public into casting invalid text message votes, as part of a conspiracy to deprive them of the right to vote.
The trial started on Monday, and has gotten even more attention, thanks to Elon Musk taking interest.
A tweet from businessman Joe Lonsdale, expressing concern about the case caught the eye of Elon Musk. Joe stated “This sounds concerning” and Elon responded with a very simple, yet extremely powerful, “Yeah.”
That one word is all it takes for this important case to get a much-needed bright spotlight shining down on it.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 13, 2023
And since then, the case has exploded all over the internet.
Tucker covered the trial during his Tuesday night show.
If the First Amendment means anything, it means that what's happening to Douglass Mackey is an outrage. It should end immediately. pic.twitter.com/wX52zIw9mJ
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) March 15, 2023
In addition, famed journalist Glenn Grenwald has also chimed in on the case:
That I haven't covered this case more is an omission on my part, but it deserves a lot more attention than it's received. This is a helpful thread: https://t.co/bjWtMeriW2
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) March 14, 2023
And now, thanks to all of this attention, Mr. Mackey’s case has finally reached the halls of Congress.
Marjorie Taylor Greene has just sent Merrick Garland a blistering letter regarding Mr. Mackey’s case.
Here’s what MTG said in her letter to Garland:
Attorney General Garland:
I write to you expressing my profound dismay at the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) case against Douglass Mackey over his posting of memes on Twitter in 2016.1 Shockingly, Mr. Mackey is being charged with 18 U.S.C. § 241 2 , which is a subset of the Enforcement Act of 1870, also known as the Ku Klux Klan Act.3 The charge that Mr. Mackey was “conspiring with others in advance of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election to use various social media platforms to disseminate information designed to deprive individuals of their constitutional right to vote”4 is not only laughable, but also a clear indication that the DOJ does not have a sound grasp on how to interpret the law.
First of all, it is an affront to African Americans lynched and murdered by the Ku Klux Klan that the DOJ is equating their treatment at the hands of racist terrorists to a Florida man posting memes on Twitter. That the DOJ thinks these two things are commensurate should be concerning to anyone. The law Mr. Mackey is accused of violating is clearly intended to criminalize physical violence and intimidation used to prevent people from exercising their rights as outlined in the Constitution, not the sharing of memes on social media. Mr. Mackey caused no one physical harm, did not threaten or intimidate anyone, and certainly did not kill anyone.
The question, then, is whether the DOJ is deliberately contorting this statute to apply to the free speech exercised by individuals with dissenting political views. All the evidence points to this being the case. Unfortunately, these tactics are nothing new for the DOJ since your appointment as Attorney General. We have seen individuals charged with felonies for obstructing legal proceedings on January 6, 2021, despite, in many cases, being nonviolent protestors exercising their constitutional right to freedom of assembly. Mr. Mackey’s case is perhaps even more concerning because he was not involved in any sort of riot or protest, but rather he simply posted funny images on social media that the DOJ did not like.
It seems the DOJ is intent on criminalizing “disinformation,” a legally undefined term, in order to squash freedom of speech. These Soviet-style methods of enforcing the law seem better suited for the governments of China or Iran, not the United States of America. There is no evidence that Mr. Mackey’s meme-posting prevented anyone from voting in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election, and there are no individuals claiming that it did. This case is simply the DOJ, on behalf of its puppeteers in the White House, versus Douglass Mackey, a.k.a. @TheRickyVaughn. This flagrant assault on free speech and political participation is utterly un-American, undemocratic, and incredibly dangerous.
I call on you, as Attorney General, to order the charges against Douglass Mackey to be dropped by the DOJ, and to immediately thereafter resign as Attorney General of the United States before your gross incompetence and twisted sense of justice further deteriorates the rights enumerated in and protected by the Constitution, and destroys the lives of more Americans.
You can read the full letter here.
Or GiveSendGo: https://www.givesendgo.com/douglassmackeycase
And don’t forget the power of prayer. Please pray for Douglass Mackey as he battles for free speech in the United States.
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