World 'Electoral Terror': Federal Judge Compares Jacob Wohl's Voter-Discouraging Robocalls to KKK

06:30  29 october  2020
06:30  29 october  2020 Source:   newsweek.com

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Two right-wing political operatives accused of orchestrating robocalls aimed at deterring voters in Detroit and other major cities from casting their ballots by mail were arraigned Wednesday on voter intimidation charges, according to Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel.

The robocalls hitting Detroit also targeted voters in Chicago, according to Alderman Pat Dowell, a Democrat, who posted on Facebook that she personally got a call at home Wednesday night. The voice on the robocall says it was sponsored by a group founded by Jack Burkman and Jacob Wohl

Far-right political operative Jacob Wohl and his alleged co-conspirator Jack Burkman were ordered to stop making misleading robocalls through Election Day, with a judge comparing the calls to voter intimidation tactics historically used by the Ku Klux Klan.

Jacob Wohl et al. in uniform: Far-right activist Jacob Wohl is pictured surrounded by police officers while taunting Black Lives Matter protesters at a demonstration in Washington, D.C. on August 27, 2020. © Michael M. Santiago/Getty Far-right activist Jacob Wohl is pictured surrounded by police officers while taunting Black Lives Matter protesters at a demonstration in Washington, D.C. on August 27, 2020.

U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero on Wednesday described the content of robocalls made by Wohl and his partner Burkman as "manifestly false and meant to intimidate citizens from exercising voting rights" while ruling on a lawsuit brought by the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation on October 16. Marrero compared the robocalls to tactics that led Congress to pass the Ku Klux Klan Act in 1871 amid terror campaigns used to scare recently emancipated Black men into not voting.

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In Ohio, Wohl and Burkman were indicted Tuesday on eight counts of telecommunication fraud and seven counts of bribery. The two men face up to 18 Wohl and Burkman' s defense attorneys told the New York Post that they believe the content of the robocalls is protected under the First Amendment

Conservative operatives Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman have been indicted in Ohio for allegedly using robocalls in an attempt to intimidate minority voters , Cuyahoga Cou. The messages falsely warned voters that if they voted by mail, their information could be used to pursue old warrants, collect

"Today, almost 150 years later, the forces and conflicts that animated Congress's adoption of the Ku Klux Klan Act as well as subsequent voting rights legislation, are playing out again before this court, though with a difference," Marrero wrote. "In the current version of events, the means [Wohl and Burkman] 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, [they] carry out electoral terror using telephones, computers, and modern technology adapted to serve the same deleterious ends," the judge continued. "Because of the vastly greater population they can reach instantly with false and dreadful information, contemporary means of voter intimidation may be more detrimental to free elections than the approaches taken for that purpose in past eras, and hence call for swift and effective judicial relief."

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A federal trial judge delivered a stunning rebuke of President Donald Trump on Thursday, comparing the president’ s “assault on our judiciary” to the Ku Klux Klan and segregationist Dixiecrat George Wallace. U. S . District Judge Carlton Wayne Reeves of the federal trial court in southern Mississippi

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Marrero ordered the men to stop sending voters any more misleading robocalls through at least November 3. They were ordered to instead send a new call to those who had received the robocalls, saying that the original call had 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."

Newsweek reached out to Wohl's attorney David Schwartz, who declined to comment. However, a motion to reargue the case was quickly filed following Marrero's decision, arguing that Wohl and Burkman face an "imminent risk of significant constitutional and liberty deprivations" due to the order.

Wohl and Burkman could soon face far more serious consequences for their alleged attempts to interfere in the election. Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced felony charges against Wohl and Burkman on October 1, in a robocall campaign allegedly attempting to scare minority voters and discourage voting by mail. The case is pending and the pair could be sentenced to up to 24 years in prison if convicted.

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The Federal Court didn't throw six MPs out of their seats over allegations of widespread vote suppression through automated robocalls in the 2011 federal election . But Judge Richard Mosley did find that fraud occurred, linked to the Conservative Party' s database.

‘You can hear the Klan ’ s lawyers’: Federal judge likens Trump’ s attacks on judiciary to KKK . There have been three great assaults on the judiciary, Reeves argued. The first came after black plaintiffs, juries, lawyers and judges entered Mississippi courtrooms during Reconstruction.

On Tuesday, Wohl and Burkman were indicted over similar allegations in Ohio, where they could each face over 18 years in prison if convicted on eight charges of telecommunications fraud and seven charges of bribery.

The robocalls cited in Michigan were said to have gone out to neighborhoods with large minority populations, falsely warning that being "finessed into giving your private information to the man" by participating in the election would lead to names being entered into police databases, given to debt collectors or used to force voters into getting "mandatory vaccines." Those who received the calls were also allegedly told to "beware of vote by mail."

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FBI probes robocalls urging voters to ‘stay home’ on Election Day .
The FBI encouraged people to verify election and voting information they receive through their local election officials. ” The Homeland Security official, who spoke on the condition that they are not further identified, cautioned that “robocalls of this nature happen every election” and advised people to “keep calm, vote on”, according to The Associated Press news agency. Officials warned of a separate spate of robocalls made on Tuesday to voters in Flint, Michigan, suggesting falsely that they could wait until Wednesday to vote in person because of the long lines at polling places on Tuesday.

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