(Jacob Bruns, Headline USA) After a full day of deliberation, the jury in the trial of Douglass Mackey told the judge that they were unable to come to a unanimous decision regarding Mackey’s guilt, or lack thereof, the Post Millennial reported.
Mackey, who is accused of election interference for posting a meme in 2016 about voting for then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton via text message, had been operating the popular “Ricky Vaughn” Twitter account that had some 58,000 followers.
He has maintained that the memes were clearly satire, while the U.S. government claims his actions were designed to deprive individuals of their constitutional right to vote.
The jury, however, was unable to reach a decision Tuesday.
“We have completed our deliberations and we have not reached a unanimous decision. Please advise,” they told the judge, who sent them home for the night and asked them to reconvene in the morning.
“This is actually not unusual,” said Brooklyn Federal Court Judge Ann Donnelly. “By our terms you’ve only been deliberating for a little while.”
One of the government’s testifying witnesses will be an FBI informant who operates anonymous right-wing Twitter accounts.
According to prosecutors, the informant operates accounts similar to the Ricky Vaughn account. They claimed that the two worked in tandem to spread “misinformation.”
The informant plead guilty to the same charge that Mackey now faces, and will testify against Mackey at the trial. His identity has been protected because he is allegedly still working with the FBI in respect to other Twitter users.
“The [informant] is presently involved in multiple, ongoing investigations and other activities in which he or she is using assumed internet names and ‘handles’ that do not reveal his or her true identity,” prosecutors said.
Mackey’s lawyer, Andrew Frisch, claimed that the revealing of the informant’s identity is an essential part of the legal process to which nobody should be considered exempt.
“While the defendant and [the informant] never met, they were both political conservatives, and the [informant] is now at odds against him. If the [informant’s] political views have changed significantly, it is relevant to understand his community and biases,” Frisch wrote.
“If his political views have changed, the defense may wish to probe as to whether he has a political bias against the defendant,” Frisch continued. “If his views have not changed, it is relevant to probe his motivations.”