NH Attorney General points blame for deepfaked Biden robocall to Texas company

NH Attorney General John Formella said a Texas company named “Life Corporation,” run by Walter Monk, was responsible for a robocall featuring an AI-generated voice of President Joe Biden that discouraged people from voting in January’s first-in-the-nation presidential primary. (Colin Booth/Granite Post)

By Colin Booth

February 6, 2024

The office of New Hampshire’s Attorney General gave an update Tuesday on the ongoing investigation into a robocall featuring an AI-generated voice of President Joe Biden that discouraged people from voting in January’s first-in-the-nation presidential primary.

Attorney General John Formella said a Texas company named “Life Corporation,” run by Walter Monk, was responsible for the calls, which they said could constitute a Class B felony under RSA 659:40, which prohibits voter suppression in the state of New Hampshire. Other charges against the company and other entities are being considered.

The office issued cease-and-desist letters to Life Corp. and ordered the company to immediately stop violating New Hampshire election laws. The AG said the investigation was being assisted by an anti-robocall, multi-state litigation Task Force made up of a coalition of 50 state attorneys general.

“Our message is clear. Law enforcement across the country is unified on a bipartisan basis and ready to work together to combat any attempt to undermine our elections. We are committed to keeping our elections free and fair and secure. We will not tolerate any action that seeks to undermine the integrity of our elections and our democratic process,” said Formella.

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While Formella named several companies of interest and said a criminal investigation had been opened, no individual responsible for ordering the call was named. He said the investigation was just beginning, and gave no timeframe on completion.

The AI-generated hoax calls mimicked President Biden and discouraged voters from participating in the presidential primary, and instead encouraged them to redirect their focus to the November general election. These calls were spoofed to seem as though they originated from the phone number of Kathy Sullivan, a former chairwoman of the New Hampshire Democratic Party and co-founder of the Write-In Biden campaign in the state. The calls urged recipients to contact her number to be removed from the call list.

Sullivan said while the update to the investigation is welcomed, she hopes for future developments as soon as possible.

“I am very grateful to the NH Department of Justice and their colleagues in moving so quickly and so well. I understand they are looking at others who might be involved. I am very interested in finding out who knew about it, who paid for it, and who gave the okay.” Sullivan said.

The AG’s office said they had issued document preservation notices and subpoenas to Life Corp., Lingo Telecom, and any other individuals or entities believed to have relevant information as part of the ongoing criminal investigation.

Life Corp. is no stranger to scandal, with Talking Point Memo dubbing them as being “on the leading edge of phone based sleaziness” based on a long history of litigation for robocalls across several states.

Author

  • Colin Booth

    Based in Epsom, Colin Booth is Granite Post's political correspondent. A Granite State native and veteran political professional with a deep background in journalism, he's worked on campaigns and programs in battleground states across the country, ranging from New Hampshire, Texas, Pennsylvania and Washington D.C.

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