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Conspiracy Theorists Sent Threatening Robocalls To Suppress Black Voters, NY AG Says

The Wall Street Journal has a few tips for dealing with pesky robocalls. Photo Credit: consumersunion.org
New York Attorney General Letitia James Photo Credit: NY AG

New York Attorney General is going after a pair of conspiracy theorists who allegedly orchestrated a large-scale robocall campaign to intimidate Black communities during the 2020 election.

James announced on Thursday, May 6 that she has filed a motion to intervene in a lawsuit against “notorious conspiracy theorists” Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman for their efforts to suppress Black voters.

An investigation into approximately 5,500 complaints from New Yorkers who said they were subjected to discriminatory and harassing robocalls from Wohl and Burkman, who allegedly hid behind a sham organization titled “Project 1599.”

It is alleged that the two conspiracy theorists “violated state and federal laws by orchestrating robocalls to threaten and harass Black communities through disinformation, including claims that mail-in voters would have personal information disseminated to law enforcement, debt collectors, and the government."

According to James, the campaign “sought to undermine and interfere with the then-ongoing efforts by the state of New York to fairly and safely administer its elections during the COVID-19 crisis and protect its citizens from voter intimidation and harassment.

“In this country, our vote is our voice –– it is one of the most important parts of our democracy,” James said. “Any attempt to discourage communities from voting is as illegal as it is un-American.” 

James said that on Aug. 25 last year, the day before the robocalls were placed, Wohl emailed Burkman the audio file for the call and stated, “(w)e should send it to black neighborhoods…”

The next day, after the calls were sent and received by thousands of voters, Burkman emailed to congratulate Wohl, stating that “i love these robo calls…getting angry black call backs…win or lose…the black robo was a great (Jacob Wohl) idea.”

“Wohl and Burkman used misinformation to try to disenfranchise Black communities ahead of the election, in a clear attempt to sway the election in the favor of their preferred presidential candidate,” James said. “No voter should ever be subjected to such harassment or intimidation when exercising their fundamental right to vote.”

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