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Tipsheet

Here's What Tucker Carlson Is Calling the 'Most Shocking Attack' on Free Speech

PETER MORRISON

Last week, one of the “most shocking" attacks on free speech in America took place, according to Fox News’s Tucker Carlson, when the Department of Justice announced that GOP social media influencer Douglass Mackey had been convicted for the crime of posting memes.

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The government claims in 2016 Mackey, known online as “Ricky Vaughn,” was involved in a “scheme to deprive individuals of their constitution right to vote” by posting fake Hillary Clinton campaign ads that encouraged people to vote from home.

“Avoid the Line. Vote from home,” one read, along with “Text ‘Hillary’ to 59925,’ and “Vote for Hillary and be a part of history.”

“Mackey has been found guilty by a jury of his peers of attempting to deprive individuals from exercising their sacred right to vote for the candidate of their choice in the 2016 Presidential Election,” U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Breon Peace said in a statement.  “Today’s verdict proves that the defendant’s fraudulent actions crossed a line into criminality and flatly rejects his cynical attempt to use the constitutional right of free speech as a shield for his scheme to subvert the ballot box and suppress the vote.”

But Mackey’s attorney Andrew Frisch said during closing arguments that not a single vote was changed by the meme.

“It was no criminal conspiracy. It was the internet,” he argued, noting that even though about 4,900 people reached out to the vote-by-text number, “No one was tricked.”

“If a single voter was tricked, the government would have called that person as their first witness,” Frisch added.

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Carlson sounded off on the development.

"Just 24 hours after a Manhattan grand jury indicted Joe Biden's rival in the next presidential race, another jury also in New York convicted a Republican social media influencer called Douglass Mackey," the Fox News host said.

"Mackey's insult did not alter a single vote in the election and no one has proved otherwise," he continued. "The government brought forth not a single victim of this crime. It couldn't. Douglass Mackey was joking. Nobody believed he was a federal election official and in fact, his social media profile picture had a Donald Trump hat. It was unmistakable. This was mockery, but in the wake of the 2016 election and the rising hysteria about Donald Trump, mocking the Democratic Party became a crime. So as a result tonight, Douglass Mackey faces 10 years in prison. The case against Doug Mackey is the most shocking attack on freedom of speech in this country in our lifetimes."

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Carlson also reminded viewers that the government has shown no interest in pursuing the woman behind a similar meme, arguing it's because she is a Democrat. 

"It's also a useful lesson in who will be allowed to speak going forward," he said. "As it turns out, a woman called Kristina Wong posted an almost identical meme the same year back during the 2016 election, but unlike Doug Mackey, Wong voted for Hillary Clinton. 'Hey, Trump supporters,' she wrote. 'Skip poll lines and text in your vote.' Same crime, but the Department of Justice under Joe Biden has shown no interest in prosecuting Kristina Wong. Do you see how this works? Have you internalized our new partisan legal standards? That would be the point of the exercise. They want you to know the rules."


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