The attorney for the internet troll convicted over a 2016 election meme filed a motion for a mistrial on Friday, expressing concern the news of President Donald Trump’s indictment may have prejudiced the jury.
A jury convicted Douglass Mackey on Friday for conspiring to deprive others of their right to vote by spreading a meme to his over 58,000 Twitter followers that advertised a way to vote for Hillary Clinton via text. In a letter sent to the judge Friday morning, attorney Andrew Frisch motioned for a mistrial, suggesting Mackey could have suffered “irreparable prejudice” from the news coverage of the former president’s indictment.
“Beginning yesterday afternoon and continuing this morning, the media has been saturated with coverage of the unprecedented indictment of former President Trump, his belligerent public response, and full-throated support for him from political allies,” Frisch wrote to District Judge Ann Donnelly. “The reported indictment and attendant coverage follows more than three full days of the jury’s deliberations in Mr. Mackey’s case on a single charge on a cabined area of dispute, the jury’s report that it ‘cannot reach a unanimous decision,’ and an Allen charge over defense objection.”
A Manhattan grand jury voted to indict Trump over his payment of hush money to former porn star Stormy Daniels on Thursday. He is expected appear in a Manhattan courtroom to hear charges and plead “not guilty” on Tuesday before flying back to Mar-a-Lago to deliver a speech. (RELATED: Anti-Hillary Election ‘Meme’ Case Could Open The Floodgates To More Gov’t Censorship, Legal Experts Warn)
Charging memers could be the beginning of the endhttps://t.co/Q6ImjbuaZ7
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) April 4, 2023
Frisch wrote that he is confident the evidence against Mackey, which he said includes the government’s presentation of an “unreliable” anonymous witness’ claim of conspiratorial agreement, the testimony of a Hillary Clinton campaign representative, and Mackey’s own claims of error, was “legally insufficient.” Yet even if it were, Frisch told Donnelly it is not powerful enough to avoid prejudice against Mackey, whose “full-throated support of the former president in 2016 is inextricably intertwined in the government’s evidence.”
The letter was not added to the docket until Tuesday. In an enclosed cover email, Frisch expressed hesitancy to file it publicly “lest it generate media coverage.”
Andrew Frisch did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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