Men behind voter suppression robo calls in Detroit head to trial

The men behind a robocall that Michigan's attorney general said was meant to suppress turnout in the 2020 election will stand trial.

Jacob Wohl, 22, and Jack Burkman, 54, have been charged with election law crimes and using a computer to commit crimes.

Both men sought to have the case dismissed after it was bound over in the Wayne County Circuit Court last October.

A release from Attorney General Dana Nessel's Office said after the defendant's application to the Michigan Court of Appeals was denied, the case will go to trial.

"I applaud the Court of Appeals decision and my office stands ready to proceed with this case," Nessel said. "We remain committed to defending democracy against misinformation spread in an attempt to undermine our free and fair elections." 

Both Wohl and Burkman are well-known activists who have pushed conspiracy theories in the past.

In the months leading up to the November General Election, the two reportedly made 85,000 robocalls around the country, including 12,000 to phone numbers in the 313 area code.

The calls falsely warned residents in Detroit that by voting by mail, they could be subject to arrest, debt collection, or forced vaccination. 

Both men have denied the accusations. Nessel said they created and funded the calls. 

RELATED: Michigan AG charges conservative activists for robocalls trying to dissuade urban voters from voting by mail

Wohl and Burkman were charged last October with four counts, including:

  • Intimidating voters
  • Conspiracy to commit an election law violation
  • Using a computer to commit an election law crime
  • Using a computer to commit conspiracy

Each crime is punishable by five years or more.

They have also been ordered to make corrective calls to any victims that may have received one of the intimidating calls, per the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

You can listen to the calls that were made here.

A trial date has not been set.