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Voter-Suppression Robocalls Case Heading to Trial
May 07, 2021
LANSING - Two men accused of intimidating minority voters in Detroit and other cities through a robocall meant to suppress turnout in the Nov. 2020 election will stand trial after a failed dismissal attempt.
Last October, Arlington, Virginia residents Jack Burkman, 54, and Jacob Wohl, 22, were bound over to Wayne County Circuit Court on charges of:
- election law - intimidating voters, a felony punishable by up to five years;
- conspiracy to commit an election law violation, a felony punishable by up to five years;
- using a computer to commit the crime of election law - intimidating voters, a felony punishable by up to seven years; and
- using a computer to commit the crime of conspiracy, a felony punishable by up to seven years.
After the case was bound over, the defendants filed a motion to have it dismissed, which was heard and denied by Circuit Court Judge Margaret VanHouten on Feb. 23.
Following that denial, the defendants appealed to the Michigan Court of Appeals on March 16.
Their application was denied Thursday, meaning the case will go to trial.
"I applaud the Court of Appeals decision and my office stands ready to proceed with this case," Nessel said. "We remain committed to defending democracy against misinformation spread in an attempt to undermine our free and fair elections."
In addition to the criminal charges, Burkman and Wohl were ordered by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York to make "curative" robocalls to anyone who received an earlier call.
The pair allegedly orchestrated the calls in an effort to intimidate voters and deter them from participating in the Nov. 2020 election by mail
A trial date has not been set.
Please note: A criminal charge is merely an allegation and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.