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Conservative activists Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman charged with voter intimidation in Michigan

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Posted at 10:32 AM, Oct 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-08 10:32:45-04

DETROIT — Two conservative activists accused of voter intimidation turned themselves into law enforcement at the Detroit Detention Center early Thursday morning.

Jack Burkman and Jacob Wohl have been charged with multiple felonies in Michigan for a series of false robocalls that aimed to dissuade urban residents in Detroit and other cities from voting by mail.

They will be arraigned at 10:30 a.m. in 36th District Court.

Burkman, a 54-year-old Arlington, Virginia resident, and Wohl, a 22-year-old Los Angeles resident, are each charged with:

  • 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
  • Using a computer to commit the crime of conspiracy, a seven-year felony

If convicted of the charges, the maximum amount of prison time each defendant could receive under law is 12 years, due to Michigan’s concurrent sentencing statutes. However, the actual length of incarceration, if any, will depend on sentencing guidelines and the judge’s determination.

The attorney general’s office alleges that Burkman and Wohl attempted to deter electors from participating in the November election by creating and funding a robocall targeted at certain area codes, including Detroit and other major U.S. cities with significant minority populations.

It’s believed around 85,000 robocalls were made nationally, though an exact breakdown of the numbers of calls made to each city or state is not available.

Wohl and Burkman have teamed up before in attempts to peddle right-wing conspiracy theories. In the past, the two have hosted press conferences in which they attempted to smear Dr. Anthony Fauci and Robert Mueller. Both incidents turned out to be hoaxes.

This story was originally published by WXYZ in Detroit.