A Trump supporter who allegedly used social media, fake profiles, and misleading information to interfere in the 2016 election has now been charged. He’s accused of, among other things, conning people into “legally invalid method[s] of voting” to prevent their choices from being counted.
HuffPost profiled Douglass Mackey, who went by the social media name Ricky Vaughn, in 2018, describing him as the “most influential white nationalist troll” for Trump, and going on to detail his skill in “blending far-right propaganda with conservative messages,” effectively getting mainstream conservatives to share and promote extreme white nationalist content.
Screenshots of his accounts show blatant anti-semitic and racist material.
However, the Justice Department honed in on a more relevant and criminal matter — in a release, they explain that the charges stem from posts calculated to “deprive individuals of their constitutional right to vote.”
The release specifically describes a post in which voters were encouraged to support a specific candidate by text. While the Justice Department redacted the name of the candidate in question, the Washington Post did not — in a November 2016 article, they shared screenshots of many versions of the post, all of which encouraged supporters of Hillary Clinton to vote by text.
Mackey is being charged with election interference, and has already been before a judge, according to the Justice Department release.
Douglass Mackey, aka Ricky Vaughn, 31, of West Palm Beach, was charged by criminal complaint in the Eastern District of New York. He was taken into custody this morning in West Palm Beach and made his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce E. Reinhart of the Southern District of Florida.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com