A political dirty trick blew up in the faces of two conservative political operatives who admitted Friday they’d robocalled thousands of Black voters in New York and elsewhere in an effort to suppress their votes.
Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman face criminal charges in Michigan and Ohio and a lawsuit in Manhattan Federal Court over a round of robocalls targeting black voters that stated “Don’t be finessed into giving your private information to The Man. Stay safe and beware of vote by mail.”
Manhattan Federal Judge Victor Marrero was disgusted by the robocalls and ordered the notorious pranksters call the voters back by 5 p.m. Thursday.
It took Wohl and Burkman until Friday to finish making the calls.
The follow-up robocall stated: "This call is intended to inform you that a federal court has found that the message you previously received regarding mail-in voting from Project 1599 contained false information that has had the effect of intimidating voters, and thus interfering with the upcoming presidential election, in violation of federal voting-rights laws.”
Marrero ordered the follow-up call despite concerns from Wohl and Burkman’s attorneys about how it could affect the Michigan and Ohio criminal cases, which charge the pair with voter intimidation.
Wohl, acting as his own attorney, told Marrero the initial robocall, which allegedly reached 85,000 people, was not “targeted to black individuals.”
But evidence uncovered in the Michigan case and included in court papers shows Wohl emailed Burkman in August, writing “Attached is the file for the robo call. We should send it to black neighborhoods in Milwaukee, Detroit, Philadelphia, Charlotte, Richmond, Atlanta and Cleveland.”
Marrero is overseeing a civil suit against Wohl and Burkman brought by the National Coalition on Black Civil Participation under the Voting Rights Act and the 1871 Ku Klux Klan Act, which is meant to stop voter intimidation against Blacks.
Wohl and Burkman, supporters of President Trump, have a history of trying dodgy tactics to boost Trump’s campaign — including an attempt early in 2019 to persuade Trump supporter Hunter Kelly, then 21, to falsely claim he had been raped by then-Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg.
They also tried and failed to spread a false sex assault smear against Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Their company, Project 1599, is allegedly named to resemble the name of the New York Times' critically acclaimed 1619 Project on the history of slavery in the United States.
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