Political Operatives Might Have Gone Too Far This Time

Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman are accused of masterminding 'fake' robocalls
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 3, 2020 10:30 AM CDT
Political Operatives Might Have Gone Too Far This Time
Jack Burkman, left, and Jacob Wohl appear in a press conference on Aug. 6, 2020.   (Wikimedia Commons/DM)

A pair of right-wing operatives are facing serious charges in Michigan that could put them behind bars for years, the Washington Post reports. Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman—famed for their conspiracy theories and aggressive tactics—allegedly intimidated urban voters with robocalls designed to suppress mail-in voting. The calls targeted nearly 12,000 people in Detroit and falsely warned residents that personal information put on the ballots would be given to credit card companies collecting debt, police following up warrants, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention enforcing mandatory vaccines. The caller, claiming to be from a civil rights group, urged people not to be "finessed into giving your private information to the man." Hear the robocall here.

"Any effort to interfere with, intimidate or intentionally mislead Michigan voters will be met with swift and severe consequences," said Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel. Officials in Illinois, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania say similar calls reached urban voters in their states. Now Wohl and Burkman have been charged in Michigan with four felony courts of conspiring to violate election law, intimidating voters, and using a computer to commit a crime. They face up to 12 years each. Back in August, the pair denied any involvement in the scheme: "We've never done any robocalls," Wohl told CNN. "We are categorically uninvolved." They are yet to be arraigned in Michigan and might be formally extradited if they don't appear on their own, per Nessel's office. (More robocalls stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.