A couple of bumbling right-wing conspiracy theorists were hit with criminal charges Thursday for allegedly orchestrating a robocall scheme aimed at suppressing minority voters in New York, Michigan and several other states ahead of next month’s presidential election.
Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman — who rose to infamy in 2018 for pushing a bizarre sexual assault smear against ex-special counsel Robert Mueller — were slammed with four felony counts each for allegedly pumping out a robocall recording that made a number of false claims about why people should not vote by mail in the Nov. 3 election.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, who filed the charges, said Wohl and Burkman specifically targeted voters “who live in urban areas with significant minority populations" and that some 85,000 robocalls were made in total.
“We’re all well aware of the frustrations caused by the millions of nuisance robocalls flooding our cell phones and landlines each day, but this particular message poses grave consequences for our democracy and the principles upon which it was built," Nessel said in a statement. "Michigan voters are entitled to a full, free and fair election in November and my office will not hesitate to pursue those who jeopardize that.”
In addition to Michigan and New York, voters in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Illinois were also targeted by the robocall scheme, according to Nessel.
Wohl, 22, and Burkman, 54, who are both adamant supporters of President Trump, could not be reached for comment. They could face a maximum sentence of 24 years in prison if convicted.
The right-wing duo had apparently not been arrested as of Thursday evening, but Nessler said she will work with “local law enforcement” if the two men don’t surrender voluntarily in their home states of California and Virginia.
Wohl is already under indictment in California over unrelated allegations of securities fraud.
The robocall, a recording of which was released by Nessler’s office, features a female voice that says people who vote by mail will have their personal information put into a database that police departments, credit card companies and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can access and use for anything from collecting debts to tracking down warrants and implementing “mandatory” COVID-19 vaccinations.
The statements are completely false.
Trump, who has been pictured with Wohl at campaign rallies, also frequently makes false claims about mail-in voting as part of an apparent effort to undermine trust in this year’s election.
Jennifer Taub, a Massachusetts law professor who was offered cash by Wohl in 2018 to make up false sexual assault accusations against Mueller, told the Daily News at the time that she felt “sorry” for him, considering his relatively young age.
Reached on Thursday evening, though, Taub said she has “no empathy left to give" for Wohl.
“I see him as a typical white-collar offender who has been given too many chances,” Taub told The News.
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