Photo: Russia Today

An influencer has been sentenced to seven months in prison after being convicted of "election interference" in the 2016 US presidential election for posting a meme about Hillary Clinton.

"Douglass Mackey was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Ann M. Donnelly to seven months in prison for his participation in a conspiracy to interfere with the voting rights of potential electors in the 2016 election," reads the statement released last month by the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Before the election, Mackey posted on his Twitter account (now X) an image of then-Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton with a caption that read: "Save time. Skip the lines. Vote from home." In addition, it urged people to send a text message with the word "Hillary" to a phone number.

According to the Attorney General's Office, between September and November 2016, Douglass "conspired" with other "influencers" to "spread fraudulent messages that encouraged supporters" of Clinton to "vote" through text messages or social media that "were legally invalid."

The Defendant's Response

In an interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson released Friday, Mackey explained that he didn't create the meme and that the image had already been "floating all over the internet." "I thought my audience would find it funny," he added.

He recounted that in January 2021, "seven days after Joe Biden's inauguration," law enforcement officers arrived at his home at 7 a.m., told him they have a warrant for his arrest, and took him to a courthouse without explaining anything.

According to Mackey, "the government said it doesn't have to show any evidence" that he allegedly "stole people's right to vote." U.S. officials argued that "the fact that there was a conspiracy is enough," he added.

"The government couldn't find a single person whose vote was, as Hillary Clinton said, subverted by your tweet," Carlson said, adding that these are crimes for which the influencer could have "spent 10 years in prison."

"The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protecting free speech is over. Douglass Mackey is about to go to jail for mocking Hillary Clinton on the Internet."

(Taken from RT en Español)