- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 31, 2020

Conservative operatives Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman faced questions from a federal court judge Saturday about their efforts to remediate a robocall that resulted in voter intimidation charges.

Mr. Wohl and Mr. Burkman were asked to explain several issues raised by a court filing their lawyers entered Friday in Manhattan, where they are being sued in connection with the automated calls.

The pair was recently ordered to contact every recipient of the robocall, which began in August and contained false statements about mail-in voting, and correct their original claims.

Defense lawyers submitted an invoice Friday showing the duo hired a third-party company to call back nearly 30,000 phone numbers, but U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero later said he needed more.

The invoice shows the defendants hired a company to notify only a fraction of the phone numbers that it is believed they originally called, Judge Marrero said in a court order later Friday.

Judge Marrero, a Clinton appointee, said the filing was “insufficient” to determine whether the defendants complied with the court order requiring they call back all recipients of the robocall.

He accordingly ordered them to “explain the discrepancy” between the 29,117 recipients they claimed to have called Friday and the 85,309 they are believed to have dialed with the original call.

The defendants were also ordered to provide evidence providing recipients of the remedial call they claimed to have placed were played a pre-recorded message approved by the court.

Mr. Wohl and Mr. Burkman were threatened earlier in the week with being held in contempt for not proving they complied with the order requiring they contact recipients of the original robocall.

Judge Marrero gave the defendants until Saturday afternoon to provide further evidence about the remedial robocall they claim were placed, and their lawyers followed through with time to spare.

Defense lawyers David M. Schwartz and Randy E. Kleinman said the original robocall was placed with 85,309 numbers but that only 29,117 were answered by a person or voicemail service.

That original call, made in the defendants’ names, falsely claimed mail-in ballots will be used to find people with outstanding warrants or debts, and “to track people for mandatory vaccines.”

The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation sued them in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York this month and prompted the order requiring the curative call Friday.

Mr. Wohl, 22, and Mr. Burkman, 54, are accused in the civil suit of having violated both the Voting Rights Act and Ku Klux Klan Act with the robocalls. They face related felonies in Ohio and Michigan.

Both men have denied wrongdoing.

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