Mackey, an internet troll who was known by his alias “Ricky Vaughn,” was railroaded in federal court earlier this year, with a jury convicting him of election interference for posting a meme in 2016 about voting for then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton via text message.
Despite the pro-Trump prankster being a victim of a weaponized Justice Department, Mackey threw himself on the mercy of the court Tuesday, pleading for a judge to not send him to jail. In his sentencing memorandum, Mackey claimed that he’s a new man and that his days as the internet troll “Ricky Vaughn” are long gone.
“Three years before the government arrested Douglass Mackey for the charge in this case, he moved to Florida to check himself into an intensive inpatient course of psychotherapy followed by outpatient psychotherapy,” Mackey’s memorandum said.
“The Douglass Mackey who stands before the Court for sentencing is not Ricky Vaughn of seven years ago, but a role model to friends he met in therapy, a brother in faith in his Church, and a devoted husband to his wife, who is expected to give birth to the couple’s first child in November,” the memorandum said.
“The Court most effectively encourages others to follow Mr. Mackey’s example by imposing a non-custodial sentence.”
Mackey’s memorandum cited letters of support written by his friends and family.
His mother wrote that she saw “Doug slip away from society, look unwell and detached” seven years ago, when he was lighting the internet on fire with his Trump memes.
His father also said he “knew that he seemed unhappy, had become withdrawn from his family, and was spending an excessive amount of time online. We were very concerned that he was suffering from depression and tried to get him to seek counseling.”
Mackey still has an appeal pending against his conviction. The Justice Department has yet to file its own sentencing memorandum, but earlier filings suggest that the DOJ will seek imprisonment for him.
Mackey’s lawyer, Andrew Frisch, has said that the case “presents an unusual array of compelling appellate issues. I am optimistic that the conviction will be vacated.”
During the trial, one of the government’s testifying witnesses was an FBI informant who still actively 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 has been found guilty of. 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.
Ken Silva is a staff writer at Headline USA. Follow him at twitter.com/jd_cashless.