2 right-wing operatives must spend 500 hours registering voters after pleading guilty to running a 2020 voter suppression campaign
- Two right-wing operatives pleaded guilty to running a robocall scheme before the 2020 election.
- On Tuesday, Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman were sentenced to work 500 hours at a voter registration drive.
Two right-wing operatives were sentenced to work 500 hours at a voter registration drive after pleading guilty to running a voter suppression campaign in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election, according to multiple reports.
Jacob Wohl, 24, of Irvine, California, and Jack Burkman, 56, of Arlington, Virginia, pleaded guilty last month to running a telecommunications fraud that targeted multiple states with election misinformation.
The false calls, which were set up in mostly Black neighborhoods, promoted conspiracy theories about mail-in voting, falsely informing people they could be arrested or forced to receive vaccinations based on personal information they submitted in votes by mail.
In a Zoom hearing on Tuesday, Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Judge John Sutula compared the men's efforts to those who used violence to suppress Black voters in the 1960s.
"I think it's a despicable thing that you guys have done," Sutula told the men, Cleveland.com reported.
Sutula also handed down a fine of $2,500 to each man, and placed them on two years probation, six months of which they must be in home confinement, CBS News reported.
"I just really want to express my absolute regret and shame over all of this," Wohl said after the sentencing, according to Cleveland.com.
"I would just echo Mr. Wohl's sentiment," Burkman added. "I think the same."
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, who originally referred the case to prosecutor Michael O'Malley, said last month that a total of 67,396 phone numbers received the false messages nationwide, The Hill reported.
Both Wohl and Burkman have a history of coming up with unfounded claims and conspiracy theories targeted at Democratic Party politicians.
In April 2019, Burkman falsely accused then-Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg of sexual assault. A Daily Beast report at the time found that both Burkman and Wohl tried to convince several young Republican men to make similar accusations.
An unnamed source told the Beast at the time that their goal was to kneecap Buttigieg's momentum in the 2020 presidential race.
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