The Michigan Attorney General just unveiled a four-count indictment (embedded below) against two of Trump’s most notorious propagandists for sending out thousands of robocalls aimed at suppressing the vote in key swing states.
The 23-year old Jacob Wohl and 52-year-old Jack Burkman are infamous for their stupidly bald-faced lies and theater of the absurd press conferences on the steps of the latter’s townhouse in DC. Recklessly libeling and falsely accusing prominent politicians has failed to get them in major trouble up to this, but this time they’ve gone too far.
Michigan’s Attorney General Dana Nessel is seeking to imprison them for up to 24-years for targeting over 12,000 calls to parts of her state known for having large minority populations. Four other state attorneys general assisted AG Nessel after similar calls were placed in Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, and Illinois, for a total of over 85,000 calls with false and misleading claims aimed at suppressing the vote.
“Any effort to interfere with, intimidate, or intentionally mislead Michigan voters will be met with swift and severe consequences,” AG Nessel said in a press release. “This effort specifically targeted minority voters in an attempt to deter them from voting in the November election.” She continued:
We’re all well aware of the frustrations caused by the millions of nuisance robocalls flooding our cell phones and landlines each day, but this particular message poses grave consequences for our democracy and the principles upon which it was built.”
“Michigan voters are entitled to a full, free, and fair election in November and my office will not hesitate to pursue those who jeopardize that.”
The four charges could carry consecutive penalties for Wohl and Burkman, the former of whom is already indicted on felony charges in California for securities fraud after becoming the youngest person to ever receive a lifetime trading ban from the federal National Futures Association. Interestingly, the Michigan AG’s announcement thanked the California Attorney General Xavier Beccera for assisting their investigation.
Both men were referred to the FBI for attempting to obstruct the Mueller investigation in late 2018, with the world’s most unintelligent business intelligence agency named “Surefire Intelligence,” an online persona littered with clues pointing right back at him.
Neither Trump ally has been arrested yet, but they’re facing a litany of serious charges in Michigan, and from the sound of the AG’s press release, other states could potentially follow. The counts include:
- 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.
Scam calls falsely said people could face all sorts of negative consequences for voting, including bill collectors getting their information and even tried to scare people into thinking voting would make them have to take “mandatory vaccines” for coronavirus (it won’t).
Just last week, an unsealed court record showed that the FBI is still investigating Wohl and Burkman for their attempts to tamper with the jury that convicted President Trump’s right-hand man, Roger Stone.
So there’s still a chance that they’ll face federal charges after ironically duping the Washington Post into believing the feds raided the two Republican operatives at Burkman’s DC home by hiring actors and telling them they were filming a TV pilot.
Now, Jacob Wohl will have to turn himself in or face out of state extradition after a disreputable political career that began with him at age 18, using Twitter notifications to always be the first person to reply to Donald Trump’s posts.
His rapid replies garnered him over 186,000 followers, but hubris unraveled the Californian crook’s social presence early last year when he admitted in a USA Today interview that he planned to create fake accounts to misdirect Democratic voters in the 2020 presidential preference primary.
Twitter took Wohl both literally, and seriously and promptly suspended his account, giving him a lifetime ban from the social media network. He returned to the network only a few months later, only to be banned again.
Jack Burkman is a longtime GOP lobbyist, whose political career began with an aggressive act of public homophobia, whipping up a protest in Texas against the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys for signing the first openly gay player, Michael Sam. After being an early critic of Donald Trump, Burkman then founded the swamp organization “Lobbyists for Trump” and entangled himself in the Seth Rich conspiracy theory while holding poorly attended public fundraisers at a local Holiday Inn on behalf of convicted former Deputy Campaign Manager Rick Gates.
In an ironic twist, Burkman got shot twice in the butt and broke his arm (his dachshund was unhurt) when the ex-Marine he hired to investigate Seth Rich concocted an elaborate ruse to lure him to a parking garage with fake documents implicating the FBI in wrongdoing, which his attacker did as revenge for being fired from a job manufacturing false evidence.
Even though Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman are first-class buffoons, they’ve always been given a free pass by the DC media to keep spreading the same stupid hoaxes against targets ranging from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) to Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Robert Mueller himself to pretty much anyone they might see on the news.
However, today’s indictment looks like it is the beginning of the end for the GOP duo’s reign of clinical idiocy, but it doesn’t look like the end of Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman’s legal issues because each state they targeted could seek to charge over their ill-fated campaign to dial-up disinformation to voters in swing states.
Here’s a copy of the charging documents:
Grant Stern is the Executive Editor of Occupy Democrats and published author. His new Meet the Candidates 2020 book series is distributed by Simon and Schuster. He's also mortgage broker, community activist and radio personality in Miami, Florida., as well as the producer of the Dworkin Report podcast. Grant is also an occasional contributor to Raw Story, Alternet, and the DC Report, and an unpaid senior advisor to the Democratic Coalition.