Posted by Curt on 29 January, 2021 at 4:05 pm. 4 comments already!


By Shipwreckedcrew

That would have been the reaction of any of the professional supervisors I worked for in my 22 years with DOJ.

But yesterday the Biden Justice Department issued a press release announcing the arrest of Douglass Mackey, aka “Ricky Vaughn” based on a criminal complaint filed against him by prosecutors in the Eastern District of New York.

No, not that Ricky Vaughn.

But the nature of the charges is such that referencing a “comedy” is pretty much the appropriate response.

The complaint claims that Mackey and unnamed co-conspirators agreed to violate a federal statute protecting citizens in the exercise of their civil rights.  Specifically, Mackey and the others are alleged to have propagated intentionally dishonest “memes” on social media in the days and weeks leading up to the 2016 election.  Specifically, Mackey and others are alleged to have encouraged “unenlightened” (my word) voters to cast their vote in the 2016 Presidential election by Twitter, Facebook, or “text” to a specific number they posted on social media.

Let’s point out a few objective facts about the documents that have been filed,

First, this is a criminal complaint based on an affidavit filed by an FBI Agent with only 3 years of experience.  The conduct described in the affidavit took place more than 4 years ago.  Ummm… okay.

Second, there have been months/years worth of time for this case to have been presented to a federal grand jury in the EDNY and an indictment obtained but that hasn’t happened.

Third, the date of the Agent’s signature on the affidavit is January 22, 2021 — around 48 hours after Joe Biden was sworn in and likely only one day after new “leadership” took over various components of DOJ.

Fourth, in addition to the prosecutors from EDNY, the press release identifies on Trial Lawyer from the Public Integrity Section of Main Justice as working on the case.

Fifth, the case was “announced” by the Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division of Main Justice, Nicholas McQuaid, last seen in government as a member of the White Houe Counsel’s Office during the last four years during the Obama Administration.  He now will serve as the Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General — once a Deputy Attorney General is nominated.

Here is the “beauty” of this kind of DOJ grift (really loving the use of that word — lots of opportunities in Democrat-run government):  NOTHING written in a criminal complaint affidavit ever has to be proved by admissible evidence in a court of law.

A criminal complaint affidavit — like the one filed yesterday — can be stuffed full with all kinds of stupid and irrelevant inanities that make for great newspaper headlines and breathless coverage by a sycophantic press, but none of that will ever be included in a “jury instruction” explaining the facts a jury must find beyond a reasonable doubt.

What DOJ did yesterday is “prosecution” by “press release.”  The only actual “crime” alleged by the affiant is a “conspiracy” which is an “agreement” by two or more people to commit a crime.  The “crime” that was agreed to is alleged to have been a violation of 18 U.S.C. Section 241, which reads:

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.

Death??  By “meme”??  Is that really what this statute applies to??

Well, no.

Section 241 is the current version of a statute first passed by Congress following the end of the Civil War, and along with companion statute Sec. 242, they were designed to create criminal penalties for any conduct meant to deprive the newly freed slaves of their civil rights as guaranteed by the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments.

The “reach” of this statute has expanded as the nature of “rights” protected by federal law has expanded with various “civil rights” statutes passed by Congress going back to the 1960s.  Each such expansion of “rights” has increased the potential for “criminal” conduct by citizens alleged to “conspire” to infringe on those rights — but with a significant caveat:  The statute only applies to a conspiracy to engage in conduct that involves an intent to “injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate” any person…. in the free exercise or enjoyment o any right…”

The legal “rub” here — which typically does not attend an FBI Agent’s Affidavit — is accurately presenting to the grand jury the law on what is meant by the terms “injure”, “oppress”, “threaten”, or “intimidate” in the context of the statute.  There isn’t any meaningful offering by the FBI agent as to why — legally — posting misinformation on Twitter “injures”, “oppresses,” “threatens” or “intimidates” any person in exercising their right to vote.

But the prosecutors will be obligated to provide an accurate description of the existing law on this statute — what it applies to and where its “reach” ends.

The only “evidence” offered up by the Affidavit on this issue is in the final numbered paragraph, which reads in its entirety as follows:

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