The Washington Post

Do­min­ion Vot­ing Sys­tems sued Mypil­low chief ex­ec­u­tive Mike Lin­dell, say­ing he de­famed the firm and sought to profit from false claims of elec­tion fraud.

Vot­ing ma­chine com­pany says Lin­dell sought to profit from false­hoods

- BY EMMA BROWN emma.brown@wash­post.com U.S. News · White-collar Crime · Fraud · Politics · Elections · Crime · Donald Trump · United States of America · Department of Homeland Security · Homeland · Twitter · Rudy Giuliani · Dominion Voting Systems · Megan Meier · Sidney

Do­min­ion Vot­ing Sys­tems filed a defama­tion law­suit Mon­day against Mypil­low chief ex­ec­u­tive Mike Lin­dell, ac­cus­ing him of seek­ing to boost pil­low sales by pro­mot­ing false claims that Do­min­ion’s vot­ing ma­chines were ma­nip­u­lated to rig the 2020 elec­tion against Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump.

In in­ter­views and other pub­lic ap­pear­ances, the law­suit says, Lin­dell re­peat­edly spread those claims while view­ers were urged to buy his prod­ucts. His com­pany has of­fered dis­counts to cus­tomers who use the promo codes “Qanon” and “Fight­fortrump,” ac­cord­ing to the law­suit.

The law­suit says Lin­dell con­trib­uted to a “vi­ral dis­in­for­ma­tion cam­paign” about Do­min­ion on so­cial me­dia, in broad­cast in­ter­views, at pro-trump ral­lies and in a two-hour doc­u­men­tary about sup­posed elec­tion fraud — ti­tled “Ab­so­lute Proof ” — that he cre­ated and paid to have aired 13 times this month on One Amer­ica News.

The law­suit against Lin­dell and his com­pany, one of sev­eral that Do­min­ion has filed in re­cent weeks, seeks more than $1.3 bil­lion.

At a vir­tual news con­fer­ence with re­porters Mon­day, Me­gan Meier, an at­tor­ney rep­re­sent­ing Do­min­ion, de­scribed Lin­dell as a canny busi­ness ex­ec­u­tive with an in­ter­est in al­go­rithms and game the­ory. “We don’t think he re­ally be­lieves it,” she said of the elec­tion fraud mis­in­for­ma­tion he has spread. “We think he’s mak­ing money off of it.”

Reached by phone Mon­day, Lin­dell said he was “very happy to hear” that Do­min­ion had sued him.

“Now I can get to the ev­i­dence faster. It’s go­ing to be amaz­ing,” he said. He added that he plans to con­tinue re­leas­ing “more movies, more doc­u­men­taries” about al­leged elec­tion fraud.

He scoffed at the no­tion that he has tried to use his elec­tion fraud claims to mar­ket pil­lows, say­ing his ef­forts have in fact harmed his busi­ness. “I’ve lost 22 re­tail­ers. It has hit me fi­nan­cially like crazy,” he said.

Mul­ti­ple courts have dis­missed cases al­leg­ing that the elec­tion was marred by widespread fraud, and a state­ment dis­trib­uted by the Depart­ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity in the days after the elec­tion said there was no ev­i­dence that vot­ing sys­tems had been ma­nip­u­lated. The state­ment called the 2020 elec­tion “the most se­cure in Amer­i­can his­tory.”

The 115-page com­plaint, filed in fed­eral court in the District, out­lines sev­eral in­stances in which Lin­dell used ap­pear­ances on con­ser­va­tive me­dia to hawk his prod­ucts.

On Jan. 16, for ex­am­ple, Lin­dell claimed with­out ev­i­dence that Do­min­ion ma­chines were “built . . . to cheat” in an interview on Right Side Broad­cast­ing Net­work. Ac­cord­ing to the com­plaint, the host then urged “ev­ery­one watch­ing right now to go to Mypil­low.com” and of­fered a code for 66 per­cent off. “We have 110 prod­ucts now,” Lin­dell said, re­peat­ing the pro­mo­tional code. (Also on that day, the com­plaint says, Mypil­low of­fered a $45 dis­count — “a not-so-sub­tle nod to the 45th Pres­i­dent of the United States” — for any­one us­ing the promo code “Qanon.”)

Dur­ing an­other Lin­dell me­dia ap­pear­ance, on Feb. 4, the host of the Vic­tory Chan­nel show “Flash­Point” urged view­ers to buy from Mypil­low. “We’ve got to sup­port pa­tri­ots, folks,” said the host, Gene Bai­ley. “I don’t care if you don’t need a pil­low. Go or­der one and give it to some­body else. But we’ve got to sup­port each other be­cause this is the life and death of Amer­ica.”

The com­plaint says Lin­dell per­sisted in mak­ing false claims about Do­min­ion even after the com­pany sent him mul­ti­ple let­ters warn­ing that he was putting him­self in le­gal jeop­ardy by spread­ing mis­in­for­ma­tion.

“De­spite hav­ing been specif­i­cally di­rected to the ev­i­dence and sources dis­prov­ing the Big Lie, Lin­dell know­ingly lied about Do­min­ion to sell more pil­lows to peo­ple who con­tin­ued tun­ing in to hear what they wanted to hear about the elec­tion,” the com­plaint says.

The com­plaint al­leges that elec­tion fraud false­hoods have helped Mypil­low’s bot­tom line, cit­ing tweets from Trump sup­port­ers who said they were buy­ing Mypil­low prod­ucts to sup­port Lin­dell’s cam­paign against the al­leged fraud.

“Mike Lin­dell is de­feat­ing Satan with a pil­low fight. He’s spend­ing mil­lions col­lect­ing ev­i­dence of do­min­ion vot­ing sys­tems elec­tion fraud,” one Twit­ter user wrote.

The com­plaint also refers to Lin­dell’s own state­ments in re­cent weeks. On Jan. 18, Lin­dell told Right Side Broad­cast­ing that his busi­ness had gone up 30 to 40 per­cent in re­cent days, the com­plaint says. And on Feb. 19, he said on Ru­dolph W. Gi­u­liani’s pod­cast that in the pre­vi­ous three to four weeks, he had sold 300,000 copies of his au­to­bi­og­ra­phy, “What Are the Odds? From Crack Ad­dict to CEO.”

The law­suit against Lin­dell is the lat­est salvo in Do­min­ion’s le­gal bat­tle to re­cover its rep­u­ta­tion, which it says has been badly dam­aged by elec­tion fraud false­hoods that were en­dorsed by Trump and am­pli­fied in con­ser­va­tive me­dia.

The com­pany has al­ready sued Gi­u­liani, Trump’s per­sonal lawyer, and pro-trump lawyer Sid­ney Pow­ell, and has sent re­trac­tion de­mands or preser­va­tion no­tices — of­ten pre­cur­sors to lit­i­ga­tion — to dozens of in­di­vid­u­als and busi­nesses. As in its com­plaint against Lin­dell, Do­min­ion al­leges that both Gi­u­liani and Pow­ell cap­i­tal­ized on their false elec­tion fraud claims.

 ?? JABIN BOTSFORD/THE WASH­ING­TON POST ?? Mypil­low chief ex­ec­u­tive Michael Lin­dell at the White House in Jan­uary. Lin­dell has made re­peated false claims that Do­min­ion vot­ing ma­chines were rigged against Don­ald Trump in the 2020 elec­tion.
JABIN BOTSFORD/THE WASH­ING­TON POST Mypil­low chief ex­ec­u­tive Michael Lin­dell at the White House in Jan­uary. Lin­dell has made re­peated false claims that Do­min­ion vot­ing ma­chines were rigged against Don­ald Trump in the 2020 elec­tion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA