On Wednesday, a U.S. District Judge tore into pro-Trump activists Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman, who have been charged with crimes for sending intimidating robocalls to discourage people from voting in Ohio and Michigan.
The calls falsely told voters that casting a mail-in ballot would help debt collectors locate them and police enforce outstanding warrants against them. Wohl and Burkman, who have been implicated in a number of previous half-baked schemes, face up to 18 and a half years in prison for telecommunications fraud and bribery.
In his order commanding Wohl and Burkman to call back the victims and retract their false statements, Judge Victor Marrero accused them of spreading "electoral terror" and compared their tactics to those used by the Ku Klux Klan to intimidate and disenfranchise Black voters.
"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," wrote Marrero, who was also involved in the presidential immunity case that led to the Supreme Court finding President Donald Trump was not immune from subpoenas into his finances.
"In the current version of events, the means Defendants 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," wrote Marrero. "Rather, Defendants carry out electoral terror using telephones, computers, and modern technology adapted to serve the same deleterious ends."
A federal judge says Jacob Wohl is causing "electoral terror" and compares the robocalls to the KKK in a thundering… https://t.co/L73UiulicY— Adam Klasfeld (@Adam Klasfeld)1603919142.0
The same judge who presided over Trump v. Vance, Marrero is the same jurist who reminded the president that he is n… https://t.co/YETxGu8224— Adam Klasfeld (@Adam Klasfeld)1603919276.0