Judge denies motion to quash by political robocallers
AG Nessel’s Office alleges Burkman and Wohl attempted to stop voters from participating in the Nov. 3 general election by spreading false information
LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Tuesday, Judge Margaret Van Houten rejected a motion from defendants to quash the information and dismiss the case against political robocallers Jack Burkman and Jacob Wohl.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s Office filed criminal charges on Oct. 1, 2020 alleging Burkman and Wohl attempted to stop voters from participating in the Nov. 3 general election using a robocall that made a number of false claims. Nessel said those calls targeted specific areas, including Detroit and other major U.S. cities with significant minority populations.
The case remains pending in Third Circuit Court.
The defendants are each charged with intimidating voters, conspiracy to commit an election law violation, using a computer to intimidate voters and using a computer to commit the crime of conspiracy.
Burkman and Wohl claimed the conduct did not violate Michigan’s voter intimidation law and that the robocalls were nonetheless protected by the First Amendment. Judge Van Houten rejected these arguments Tuesday.
Nessel said, “We are pleased with the court’s ruling, and look forward to the case continuing on to the next stage of the proceedings.”
Van Houten ruled that the district court did not abuse its authority in binding over the case to Circuit Court because the robocall had the potential to deter people from voting by mail. She also rejected the free speech argument made by defendants.
Copyright 2021 WILX. All rights reserved.