A Trump supporting a white nationalist social media influencer has been charged with influencing the election for attempting to get black voters to vote by text.
According to a Justice Department press release:
Douglass Mackey, aka Ricky Vaughn, 31, of West Palm Beach, has been charged with criminal charges in the Eastern District of New York. He was arrested this morning in West Palm Beach and made his first appearance before US Judge Bruce E. Reinhart in the southern district of Florida.
"According to the charges in the indictment, the defendant used a social media platform to violate one of the most fundamental and sacred rights guaranteed by the Constitution: the right to vote," said Nicholas L. McQuaid, acting assistant attorney general for the Justice Department of Criminal Investigation the department. "This indictment underscores the division's commitment to investigate and prosecute those who would undermine citizens' voting rights."
The complaint alleges that Mackey established an audience of around 58,000 followers on Twitter in 2016. In a February 2016 analysis by the MIT Media Lab, Mackey was ranked the 107th most important contributor to the upcoming election. His account was through outlets and individuals like NBC News (# 114), Stephen Colbert (# 119), and Newt Gingrich (# 141).
As alleged in the complaint, between September 2016 and November 2016, in the run-up to the November 8, 2016 U.S. presidential election, Mackey teamed up with others to use social media platforms, including Twitter, to spread fraudulent news that Supporters should encourage one of the presidential candidates (the "Candidate") to "vote" via text message or social media, a legally invalid voting method.
Mackey is a white nationalist who has a private school and has worked in consulting or finance.
One of the things to keep in mind is that Donald Trump supporters aren't just the stereotype of older white men or rural Americans. There are millions of Trump supporters like Mackey who look like someone you might work with or live next to. They are educated and also very racist.
Mackey was not alone in his activities, and hopefully more criminal charges will come along with the restoration of the voting rights law.
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Mr. Easley is the Founder / Senior Editor, White House Press Pool, and a Congressional Correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a bachelor's degree in political science. His thesis focused on public order with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and professional memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Political Science Association