Men behind voter suppression robo calls in Detroit head to trial
Political robocall suspects face the judge
It was an explosive day in Detroit’s 36th district court after two accused political activists came forward.
LANSING, me. – – The men behind a robocall that Michigan’s Attorney General said should suppress voter turnout in the 2020 election will face trial.
Jacob Wohl, 22, and Jack Burkman, 54, have been charged with crimes of voting and using a computer to commit crimes.
Both men moved the case to dismiss after it went to Wayne County Circuit Court last October.
A statement from Dana Nessel’s Attorney General said the case will be brought to trial after the defendant’s petition in the Michigan Court of Appeal was denied.
“I welcome the appeal court’s decision and my office is ready to move into this case,” said Nessel. “We remain committed to defending democracy against the spread of misinformation to undermine our free and fair elections.”
Both Wohl and Burkman are well-known activists who have propounded conspiracy theories in the past.
In the months leading up to the November general election, the two reportedly made 85,000 robocalls across the country, including 12,000 to phone numbers in the 313 area code.
The calls falsely warned Detroit residents that they could be arrested, conscripted, or forcibly vaccinated by voting by post.
Both men have denied the allegations. Nessel said they made and funded the calls.
CONNECTED: Michigan AG has accused conservative activists of robocalls attempting to dissuade city voters from voting by post
Wohl and Burkman were charged last October on four counts, including:
- Intimidation of voters
- Conspiracy to commit a violation of the electoral law
- Using a computer to commit an electoral crime
- Committing a conspiracy with a computer
Every crime is punished with five years or more.
They have also been instructed to correct any victims who may have received one of the intimidating calls, according to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York City.
You can listen to the calls made here.
A trial date was not set.