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In Capital Coverup 15.2, I explained why the government’s affidavit in the Daniel Goodwyn case does not provide probable cause for the elements of the redundant crimes charged, why no professional police officer would make an arrest in such a case, and why no ethical prosecutor would charge one. The SMM Capital Coverup archive is here. 

In the case of Doug Mackey, we begin with a DOJ press release.  But before analyzing that, let’s return to the charge against Mackey, 18 USC 241:

If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same; or

If two or more persons go in disguise on the highway, or on the premises of another, with intent to prevent or hinder his free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege so secured—

They shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, they shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.

Need I explain a press release does not constitute evidence or proof of any crime? DOJ press releases, circa March, 2023, tend to be reinforcement for a preferred narrative rather than complete, truthful information. 18 USC 241 is commonly known as the Klu Klux Klan act. Its usefulness against Klan crimes is clearly reflected in its text, which was aimed at combatting Klan tactics. But let’s take a moment to examine the press release.  Here’s the first sentence:

A Florida man was arrested this morning on charges of conspiring with others in advance of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election to use various social media platforms to disseminate misinformation designed to deprive individuals of their constitutional right to vote.

What did Mackey do, gentle readers? He posted a Twitter meme, a satire, absurdly encouraging people to vote for Hillary Clinton by text. More from the press release:

As alleged in the complaint, between September 2016 and November 2016, in the lead up to the Nov. 8, 2016, U.S. Presidential Election, Mackey conspired with others to use social media platforms, including Twitter, to disseminate fraudulent messages designed to encourage supporters of one of the presidential candidates (the ‘Candidate’) to ‘vote’ via text message or social media, a legally invalid method of voting.

For example, on Nov. 1, 2016, Mackey allegedly tweeted an image that featured an African American woman standing in front of an ‘African Americans for [the Candidate]’ sign.

Oddly, Clinton’s name is studiously not mentioned in the press release, which went on to say:

The tweet included the typed hashtags ‘#Go [Candidate]’ and another slogan frequently used by the Candidate. On or about and before Election Day 2016, at least 4,900 unique telephone numbers texted ‘[Candidate’s first name]’ or some derivative to the 59925 text number, which was used in multiple deceptive campaign images tweeted by the defendant and his co-conspirators.

Let’s now visit the affidavit in this case.  The affiant is FBI agent Maegan Rees. What’s immediately apparent is the reporting of Tucker Carlson, as I noted in Update 15 of this series, is based on the press release and the affidavit. In other words, Carlson accurately summarized both.

Rees spends considerable time trying to paint Mackey as a big fish on the Internet, someone very, very influential. She began with this:

In or about 2016, MACKEY, working with other individuals described in greater detail below, made coordinated use of social media to spread disinformation relevant to the impending 2016 Presidential Election (‘the Election’).

Thus does Rees expose her bias. There is no such crime as “disinformation.” Done by American citizens, it’s not the business of the FBI. D/S/Cs, which clearly includes the FBI, consider any speech with which they disagree, particularly political speech that contradicts approved narratives, to be disinformation or misinformation. Regular readers know via the Twitter Files, government has, for years, been working in every way possible to deprive Americans of their free speech rights. The SMM Twitter Files archive is here.  Rees immediately outlines her case, which is posting a meme suggesting people could vote for Hillary Clinton via text or social media.

“Ricky Vaughn” is an alias Mackey used for the tweet

Rees goes on to suggest that because Mackey had several Twitter accounts, that alone was somehow nefarious. In fact, Twitter frequently suspended and/or banned Mackey, so his having several accounts would seem something less than suspicious. Rees brands several people with whom Mackey occasionally spoke, apparently via Internet chat rooms, as “co-conspirators,” apparently because they spoke about memes.

How influential was Mackey? According to Rees, and as reported by Carlson, Mackey had a Twitter following of about 58,000, and was “the 107th most important influencer of the then-upcoming Election.” In real terms, that’s a drop in the bucket. Truly popular followings range in the hundreds of thousands, even millions, and the most popular blogs have a million or more daily hits.  In addition, “following” numbers can increase or decrease substantially overnight.

Rees spends quite a bit of ink speaking of various chat groups and Twitter accounts, admitting Mackey used different accounts after Twitter suspended one of his accounts, no doubt for being critical of Clinton, though Rees is careful to avoid any mention of Clinton. Rees alleges Mackey spoke with others about memes that might cause people—obviously Clinton voters—to vote for someone else:

’I really like this idea,’ noting that they needed to ‘outmeme’ their opponents.

If this sounds like citizens discussing politics and how to counter their political opponents, that’s because that’s what, by Rees’ characterization, they were doing—engaging in Constitutionally protected speech and political activism. It also sounds like people who spend time on social media responding to their opponents or critics. Americans get to do that sort of thing, or at least they used to. There is no suggestion Mackey, or anyone else, was coordinating with any organized political party or other group. They were private citizens, having fun on the Internet.  Americans used to be able to do that too.

Rees notes Mackey and others came up with an idea to suggest “the Candidate”—clearly Clinton—planned to draft women, which they thought would cause women to vote against Clinton. If this sounds like the kind of tactics politicians and their parties engage in every day, that’s because it is. President Biden is now trying to convince people it was Republicans who wanted, and who still want, to defund the police.  Rees spends a great deal of effort trying to make what happens every day, and in constitutionally protected ways, seem particularly sinister. That political parties spend millions doing what Mackey and a few others allegedly did, and suffer nothing for it—probably because it’s not illegal due to that annoying First Amendment–somehow escapes the FBI and DOJ.  Individual citizens like Mackey, however, do not escape if they dare damage D/S/Cs or D/S/C narratives.

Finally, Rees gets around to the meme in question, and again, labors to make it seem particularly evil. She said those working on the meme wanted to make it as authentic looking as possible, which is what anyone producing a parody or satire does. The very resemblance to what is being satirized is in large part what makes satire funny. Rees notes several of the “co-conspirators” thought the meme very funny. How dare they! Shortly after posting it, Twitter—surprise!–suspended Mackey’s account.

Rees spends quite a bit of time talking about Mackey and others writing to each other about voter turnout:

In the final weeks before the Election, MACKEY state his opinion that the outcome of the election would be affected by voter turnout.

For this Rees went to the FBI Academy?  Imagine that; elections decided by voter turnout. Mackey is clearly a criminal mastermind. She speaks about another Tweet by Mackey, which:

According to Twitter records, this tweet was retweeted approximately 23 times and ‘favorited’ 19 times.

Of course, Rees cannot tell us why it was retweeted, or favored. Perhaps the few people involved thought it particularly funny too? I wonder where those retweets and favors rank in a nation of some 330 million?

Final Thoughts: I recommend you take the link and read Update 15, and by all means, take the link to download and read the affidavit. What you’ll notice is Rees spends a great deal of time trying to make what people do—legally–every day on the Internet and social media look sinister.  Such is D/S/C and Uniparty antipathy to free speech these days.

Why doesn’t Rees use Hillary Clinton’s name? Who knows? There is no legal protocol reason to withhold it. It’s odd. Perhaps the name is so holy it can’t be spoken or written?  Perhaps she’s a confidential informant?

Rees notes some 4900 unique phone numbers texted the fake text number in the meme. Can we take that information on face value? Sadly, these days, no. What she doesn’t provide is why they texted. Surely many did just to confirm it was a satire. As to the rest, Rees provides no indication any of those people were in any way deprived of an opportunity to vote. Let us assume the government will be able to put someone, even ten someones, on the stand to testify they voted by that text number, and in no other way. Rees makes no claim any such people exist, and if they did, how does that differ from the avalanche of lies politicians and their parties tell about their opponents—all constitutionally protected—that might mislead voters? President Biden is a prolific liar, and many of his lies are clearly aimed at affecting elections, yet the DOJ is not prosecuting him. Were I a prosecutor, I wouldn’t put such people on the stand. What jury wouldn’t think we’re better off if such people don’t vote?

Mackey, according to Rees, was the 107th most influential person on the Internet in 2016, even more influential than NBC News! How are such things calculated? By hits? The number of times a given post is visited? The number of times they’re “liked” or retweeted? Does that kind of “influence” translate into direct action, the kind of action Rees implies? I don’t for a moment think readers of this scruffy little blog will do anything simply because I say they should. I would hope what I have to say will cause them to do their own research and make up their own minds. If they agree with me, it’s because I make reasonable arguments, arguments the D/S/C media not only won’t make, but actively suppresses, but I don’t for a moment believe I can cause anyone to do what they don’t want to do.

The government’s attempt to make Mackey seem far more influential than he is tacitly admits how few votes need to be illegally changed to throw an election. These are the same people, the same party, that denies election fraud occurs, or if it does, it’s so small it makes no difference.

Most importantly, laws are written narrowly, for specific purposes. If a person of average intelligence can’t read a law and know what is or is not illegal, it is unconstitutional, void for vagueness. That’s why laws are applied only for the narrow and specific purpose for which they were written, within the commonly understood limits of their language. If a political, weaponized FBI agent or DOJ attorney wants to prosecute someone, but there is no narrow, specific law they’ve obviously violated, it’s grossly unethical to try to warp another law not remotely written to address that supposed crime to fit. That’s Stalinesque starting with the man and finding a crime.  That’s exactly what’s being done here.

Regardless of one’s political leanings, no one should be happy about prosecutors charging people under laws legislators never intended for that purpose, laws that on their face, on their commonly understood language, do not apply. That destroys respect for the rule of law. It’s one of the most obvious signs of a two-tiered system of justice, which is by any measure, tyranny. Here’s a contemporaneous tweet aimed at Trump. There is no indication this tweeter is being prosecuted, and why should it?  Trump is a Republican, and anything done to him is fair game.

Worse, if there is any reasonable probability the actions of the person they want to get are covered by an express constitutional right, the ethical agent and prosecutor admit their bias and let it go. Even if it’s a terribly close call—it’s not in this case–they’re obligated, first and foremost, to uphold and defend the Constitution. Rees, straining mightily, paints Mackey a monster, a monster with enormous influence, spreading disinformation to throw an election. Remember, these are the same people who deny election fraud exists, but only if their candidates win. Her theory, and that of the DOJ, seems to be if even one person was fooled, that’s unlawful election interference. There is no specific law to that effect, so they’re stretching the Klu Klux Klan act out of shape to cover it.

Let us, for the sake of argument, say Mackey and others were trying to trick people into not voting. Let’s say the meme, carefully constructed to look just like similar memes D/S/Cs routinely use, wasn’t a satire at all. It’s still constitutionally protected speech, and because it’s inherently political speech, it enjoys the highest level of protection. Yes, it’s false. Yes, it’s a trick, but there is no right not to be tricked, no right not to fall for a lie, and no crime, outside fraud and a few specific and similar offenses, for lying or playing tricks. Who, in America, 2016, doesn’t know you can’t vote by text, or via Facebook? Do we really want anyone so gullible, so unaware of the basics of civics, voting? If it is satire, which it appears to be and which Mackey’s lawyers will surely argue, it is also constitutionally protected speech. Remember: there is no such crime as disinformation or misinformation.

The other significant issue, one I outlined in update 15 of this series, is what appears to be the government’s star witness against Mackey is a FBI “confidential witness,” whose name is not to be revealed, who can’t be adequately questioned, and who won’t even be in the courtroom to testify!  Why this secrecy?  the prosecution has told the court if the witness were identified, they might have to endure–gasp!–online harassment.  They’re not, according to the government, facing threats of death–Mackey isn’t a mafia capo or the leader of a Mexican cartel–but the possibility someone might be mean to them on the Internet.  Not only is Mackey to be denied his 6th Amendment right to confront that witness against him, he’s also to be denied his right to properly cross examine that stealth witness.  That witness, by the way, seems to have credibility problems. 

This case is going to trial because the judge, a Clinton appointee, is entirely and overtly ignoring the First Amendment.  Should there be a conviction, and should it be upheld, the precedent set will be a huge step toward limiting political speech, which, gentle readers, is what a great many powerful people, people who lie to us daily, who disseminate disinformation, in ways that harm us greatly, want. It is no coincidence, though the alleged offense occurred in 2016, this case is going to trial seven years later, before the 2024 presidential election. Those pushing this case want that precedent. They want to be able to limit political speech.  They want people to be confused about what sort of speech is and isn’t illegal, the better to make it up as they go along and apply any law they want to get the result they want.

Every American should be outraged.