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Political Robocallers Surrender to Police, Await Arraignment
October 08, 2020
LANSING – Defendants Jack Burkman and Jacob Wohl turned themselves into law enforcement at the Detroit Detention Center early this morning and are awaiting arraignment on voter intimidation charges, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced.
Burkman and Wohl were to be processed this morning prior to a remote arraignment on multiple felony charges in the 36th District Court in Detroit.
Arraignments begin at 10:30 a.m., but Burkman and Wohl will be called to appear in order of the court’s established list of cases. The arraignments have been assigned to the digital courtroom No. 134 and will be livestreamed online at the court’s website.
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; and
- Using a computer to commit the crime of conspiracy, a seven-year felony.
Charges were filed Oct. 1 after the Attorney General’s office conducted an investigation into allegations that the two political operatives orchestrated a series of robocalls aimed at suppressing the vote in the November general election.
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.
Please note: A criminal charge is merely an allegation and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. The Attorney General’s office does not provide photos of defendants, but one may be available from the booking agency, the Detroit Detention Center.