- Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman, two conservative political operatives who have run numerous botched schemes over the past few years, are in legal trouble.
- They're facing a lawsuit in New York and indictments in Ohio and Michigan over robocalls targeting areas with large numbers of Black voters, discouraging them to vote by mail.
- In a recent court filing for the New York case, their lawyers said the robocalls reached only about 5,812 of about 85,309 targets - a success rate of less than 7%.
- The lawyers also said they couldn't place a court-issued remedial robocall because it could incriminate them in the Ohio and Michigan cases.
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Jacob Wohl did a terrible job sending robocalls that tried to stop Black people from voting, his lawyer said in a court filing Thursday.
The robocalls - which targeted areas with large numbers of Black voters - warned against recipients voting by mail, falsely telling them that it would publicize personal information that "will be used by police departments to track down old warrants and be used by credit card companies to collect outstanding debts."
But "only approximately 5,812 of these calls actually made a connection to either an answering machine or live person" out of approximately 85,309 "phone numbers that were fed into the robocall company's dialer," according to two lawyers representing Wohl and Jack Burkman, Wohl's partner in the plot.
That's a success rate of less than 7%.
The lawyers, David Schwartz and Randy Kleinman, made the filing as part of a lawsuit brought by The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation against Wohl and Burkman. The group said that the two conservative operatives violated the Voting Rights Act and the Ku Klux Klan Act in making those robocalls.
"Voters deceived by these messages face a harmful choice: expose yourself and your family to increased risk of contracting COVID-19 by voting in person, or do not vote," the lawsuit said, adding that: "The robocall campaign targets voters in areas with significant Black populations and seeks to exploit racially charged stereotypes and false information intended to dissuade recipients from voting in the November 3, 2020 election."
Wohl and Burkman have also been indicted in Ohio and Michigan over the robocalls. According to The Daily Beast, the the FBI is also investigating pair over jury tampering in a trial for conservative political operative Roger Stone. The two have a long history of failed political tricks that stretch back years.
On Wednesday, the judge overseeing the New York lawsuit ordered that Wohl and Burkman issue another robocall to everyone they previously called and tell them the first robocall was false and illegal.
Wohl and Burkman's lawyers pushed back against the order, saying that it would violate Wohl and Burkman's right against self-incrimination in the Ohio and Michigan cases.