Seth DuCharme, the Eastern District of New York Acting U.S. Attorney who indicted pro-Trump Twitter user Douglas Mackey for “disseminating misinformation” in the form of memes during the 2016 election cycle, was appointed to his position in 2020 by disgraced former Attorney General Bill Barr.
On Wednesday, DuCharme, alongside officials from the FBI and DOJ, announced that Mackey had been arrested and indicted for tweets in 2016 from the “Ricky Vaughn” Twitter account regarding the 2016 election.
“With Mackey’s arrest, we serve notice that those who would subvert the democratic process in this manner cannot rely on the cloak of Internet anonymity to evade responsibility for their crimes,” DuCharme declared.
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The prosecution of Mackey for memes that upset powerful Democrats can be traced back to July 2018, when he was appointed Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General under Bill Barr, acting as a confidant.
Barr loyalist DuCharme was later able to sidestep the traditional succession process after being appointed head prosecutor of the EDNY in July 2020.
The politically motivated prosecution of a Trump supporter by a prosecutor appointed under the Trump administration’s Department of Justice has raised eyebrows, though Barr’s extensive efforts to undermine President Trump in the administration’s final months became common knowledge amidst the fallout of the highly disputed 2020 election.
Mackey currently faces up to 10 years in prison for the bizarre “misinformation” charges.
DuCharme and other government officials cited a meme that featured black voters standing in line to cast ballots as one of Mackey’s most heinous crimes in an official DOJ press release:
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. The image included the following text: “Avoid the Line. Vote from Home. Text ‘[Candidate’s first name]’ to 59925[.] Vote for [the Candidate] and be a part of history.” The fine print at the bottom of the image stated: “Must be 18 or older to vote. One vote per person. Must be a legal citizen of the United States. Voting by text not available in Guam, Puerto Rico, Alaska or Hawaii. Paid for by [Candidate] for President 2016.”
The satirical hashtag #DraftOurdaughters, which was created in 2016 to poke fun at failed Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s interventionist foreign policy stances, was also cited as an offense in the criminal complaint against Mackey.