A federal judge ruled Wednesday that New York Attorney General Letitia James can intervene in a federal proceeding against two notorious right-wing political operatives over what she says were efforts to suppress Black voters ahead of the 2020 election.
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.
While the pair were already arraigned on felony voter intimidation charges last year, Wednesday’s ruling brings a new level of potential legal risk with James’ office allowed to join a lawsuit against Wohl and Burkman filed by the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation and a group of voters.
“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.”