Right-wing pranksters Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman aren’t having a very good week. The fraudulent duo had already surrendered to authorities in Michigan in connection with a series of intimidating robocalls sent to Democratic voters, specifically Black voters and other voters of color. Similar calls were made in several other states including New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Ohio, where they face eight counts of telecommunications fraud and seven counts of bribery, which could result in a possible 18 years in prison.
The robocalls said “If you vote by mail, your personal information will be part of a public database that will be used by police departments to track down old warrants and be used for credit card companies to collect outstanding debts. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) is even pushing to… track people for mandatory vaccines.”
Now a judge in New York State has ordered them both to call back the over 85,000 households they targeted and admit to their interference in the presidential election.
Comparing them to the Ku Klux Klan, Judge Victor Morrero called their scheme a “campaign of electoral terror”, writing in his ruling:“The means defendants use to intimidate voters, though born of fear and similarly powered by hate, are not guns, torches, burning crosses, and other dire methods perpetrated under the cover of white hoods. Rather, defendants carry out electoral terror using telephones, computers, and modern technology adapted to serve the same deleterious ends,” Marrero wrote.
Wohl and Burkman only have until Thursday at 5 p.m. to make the new apologetic calls, which ironically will also be robocalls. However, the content will be completely different:
“At the direction of a United States district court, 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, a political organization founded by Jack Burkman and Jacob Wohl, 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,” the court-ordered follow-up reads.