A little more than ten weeks ago, 22-year-old right-wing internet troll Jacob Wohl and his 54-year-old male companion Jack Burkman surrendered to federal authorities in Michigan after the state’s Attorney General Dana Nessel filed charges against the pair for orchestrating a racist robocall scam targeting black voters.
Wohl and Burkman are zealous followers of President Donald Trump. Their objective was to dupe Democrats into staying home and avoiding mailing in their ballots on Election Day, for which they have been indicted for a swathe of crimes:
- One count of election law – intimidating voters, a five-year felony;
- One count of conspiracy to commit an election law violation, a five-year felony;
- One count of using a computer to commit the crime of election law – intimidating voters, a seven-year felony;
- One count of using a computer to commit the crime of conspiracy, a seven-year felony.
The duo has also been charged with felonies in Ohio and warrants have been issued for their arrest. They each could be sentenced to up to 42 years in prison.
Additional investigations are taking place in Illinois and Pennsylvania.
There is also an active civil suit in the Southern District of New York, wherein a state judge described the scheme as “electoral terror.”
But the case expanded on Tuesday when Letitia James, New York’s Democratic attorney general, filed three subpoenas against Wohl, Burkman, and Burkman’s consulting firm, Burkman & Associates.
According to Salon correspondent Roger Sollenberger, who obtained copies of the documents:
Prosecutors are seeking information about who funded the robocalls, including about the source of funds in the firm’s Bank of America account, as well as any relevant communications. More broadly, investigators also want to see all documents concerning Project 1599, Burkman’s organization, which not only claims credit for the calls in the recordings but has also been linked to a number of other political stunts the duo has carried out over the years.
James, Sollenberger reported, “specifically asks about payments to a voice broadcasting company called Message Communications, which Wohl and Burkman paid for the service.”
Robert Mahanian, the president of Message Communications, was shocked when he learned how Wohl and Burkman were using his service.
“This really was disgusting, what they did,” Mahanian told Salon. “They spent $2,000 with me, and I got complaints immediately. Literally the next day I terminated their account.”
He added that never before in his seventeen years in business has he witnessed such egregious abuse.
“I’ve never seen a criminal-type situation arise from anyone using our network,” Mahanian said. “This was just crazy,” he continued, again calling the plot “disgusting.”
Prior to executing the robocall, Burkman wrote in an email to Mahanian that the “check to you Robert just went out in the 2-day pouch you will have in 2-3 days Then we attack.”
Listen to the robocall below:
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Brandon is a political writer for the Hill Reporter specializing in current events, breaking news, and scientific discovery. Brandon holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University. He lives in New York City.