The operatives, Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman, are accused of orchestrating robocalls aimed at deterring voters in Detroit and other major cities from casting their ballots.
“There is no doubt that the NY AG has a strong interest in stopping Defendants’ allegedly discriminatory efforts to impair New York citizens’ voting rights,” US District Judge Victor Marrero said in his ruling.
“We will work to hold these individuals accountable,” James tweeted Wednesday.
Her office had said in a previous statement that Wohl and Burkman’s alleged campaign had reached “approximately 5,500 New Yorkers, sought to undermine and interfere with the then-ongoing efforts by the state of New York to fairly and safely administer its elections during the COVID-19 crisis and protect its citizens from voter intimidation and harassment.”
Reached by CNN on Wednesday evening, Burkman said in a text message that the case is “political nonsense” and “we expect to prevail.” Wohl did not respond to CNN’s request for comment.
The complaints also seeks the forfeiting of “all profits or payments made to the defendants as part of the robocall campaign” and looks to require them to “pay a penalty of up to $500 for each violation of the state law prohibiting New Yorkers from being subject to any discrimination in their civil rights.”
CNN previously reported the voice on the robocall said it was sponsored by a group founded by Burkman and Wohl, who have spent years perpetrating hoaxes and false smears against Democratic politicians and opponents of President Donald Trump.
In a brief interview with CNN last August, Wohl denied that he or Burkman was responsible for the misleading and racist calls and said they had learned about them only after Burkman started receiving angry messages from people who had seen his number on their caller ID.
“We’ve never done any robocalls,” Wohl said. “We are categorically uninvolved.”
CNN’s Oliver Darcy contributed to this report.Source link