Mike Lindell, a wealthy pillow entrepreneur, has been waging a propaganda war against voting machines in some states, endorsing ‘Big Lie’ advocates for top offices in 2022, and financing an anti-voting machine film, among other projects.
He is a key figure among right-wing crusaders promoting Donald Trump’s claims that the 2020 election was stolen. Lindell is an unlikely figure to emerge from the crucible of American politics as well as the conservative ecosystem.
He was once best known for his TV commercials as the CEO of MyPillow than for his extreme politics. Lindell, on the other hand, has become an ally of a still-powerful Trump, who is considering a run for the White House in 2024. Lindell is also a well-known figure of the right-wing itself, making several appearances at recent Trump rallies.
Mike spent $30 million to prove widespread election fraud in 2020
However, election experts and voting watchdogs say Lindell’s legal blitz to eliminate voting machines, as well as other efforts to support Trump’s claims of widespread election fraud in 2020, are deeply flawed and dangerous, and could further erode voter confidence.
Lindell, on the other hand, appears unfazed, telling that he has spent about $30 million to hire about 70 lawyers, cyber consultants, private investigators, and other staffers for his projects to prove widespread election fraud in 2020 despite mountains of contrary evidence and expand his crusade to eliminate voting machines.
“I’d like to file lawsuits in all 50 states” -Mike Lindell
Last month, Lindell put $500,000 into an Arizona lawsuit filed by Mark Finchem and Kari Lake, two Trump and Lindell-backed state candidates for secretary of state and governor, respectively, to get a preliminary injunction against voting machines that Lindell has repeatedly claimed are defective. Lindell said he plans to fund anti-voting machine lawsuits in a number of other states, including Colorado, South Dakota, Texas, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Alabama, in the coming months.
He stated, “I’d like to file lawsuits in all 50 states.” “I didn’t travel all this way to fail.” We have to get rid of all of them.” Lindell has publicly endorsed several candidates for top positions in battleground states, including Lake and Finchem, to further his conservative agenda who early this month benefited from a Trump-sponsored fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago that Lindell attended.
Lindell supported Trump’s endorsed candidates
Lindell is also supporting Tina Peters, a Mesa county elections clerk who was indicted on 10 counts for tampering with voting equipment in an attempt to expose what she believed were significant election machine errors, and for whom Lindell headlined a rally last month. On May 10, a judge barred Peters from running for county office this year; Peters is still running for secretary of state, but must first win a Republican primary in June.
In June 2021, Lindell shook hands with attendees at a “Save America” rally in Wellington, Ohio. In Michigan, Lindell has backed two Trump supporters, Matt DePerno, Tim Walz and Kristina Karamo who, respectively, were endorsed by a state Republican convention to be the Republican candidates this fall for attorney general and secretary of state.
Mike Lindell enlisted Lara Logan
Lindell claims he’s enlisted ex-Fox News reporter Lara Logan, who claims she was “pushed out” by Fox after making incendiary comments comparing Anthony Fauci to notorious Nazi doctor Josef Mengele, to produce a documentary about voting machine fraud and voting machine companies that will be “huge,” according to Lindell.
Lindell also launched Cause of America, a grassroots group whose self-proclaimed mission is to “restore trust in local elections,” which he said he was subsidising to the tune of $100,000 to $200,000 per month to help spread ridiculous claims of widespread election fraud.
Lindell has hired a team of lawyers to help him with his expensive lawsuits to just get rid of voting machines
Lindell has hired a team of lawyers, including Harvard Law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz and Kurt Olsen, who was subpoenaed on March 1 by the House intelligence committee investigating the 6 January Capitol attack by a mob of Trump loyalists, to help him with his expensive lawsuits to just get rid of voting machines, which legal and voting experts say face long odds. Lindell’s lawsuit spending spree, according to election watchdogs, is promoting conspiratorial views of voting fraud and has a slim chance of legal success, but it risks further confusing voters about the risks of election fraud in 2020. Even Trump’s own attorney general, William Barr, admitted in late 2020 that there was no evidence of widespread fraud.
“This is just another attempt by proponents of the big lie to distribute unsubstantiated conspiracy ideas and undermine confidence in American elections,” said Larry Norden, the Brennan Center’s senior director for elections and government. “Arizona, like most other states, performs its elections completely on paper ballots as well as audits the machine results with a post-election review of those ballots,” he added. “Every post-election analysis of the 2020 Arizona election, including partisan analysis led by Cyber Ninjas, confirmed Joe Biden’s victory.” “Hand-counting of ballots in any jurisdiction except the smallest of jurisdictions is too time-consuming and highly susceptible to human error to be feasible,” Norden added. Even in small jurisdictions, trained election staff who work in multi-member teams would be required with oversight.”
“These ridiculous lawsuits are designed to continue undermining Americans’ confidence in every aspect of our electoral system,” Melanie Sloan, a senior adviser for the watchdog group American Oversight, said. “Hand-counting ballots increase the chances of fraud, but given that Lindell and Finchem were active participants in Trump’s efforts to overturn the election, there’s no law they won’t break to impose their candidates on America, democracy be damned.” Lindell, on the other hand, is optimistic about winning the class action lawsuits, despite the fact that dozens of other lawsuits filed by Trump lawyers to overturn the 2020 election results claiming fraud were dismissed by the courts. Lindell boasted, “There’s no reason they won’t succeed.”
Lindell said Trump was “chosen by God”
Lindell, a 60-year-old former crack addict and born-again Christian who once said Trump was “chosen by God,” has faced significant legal challenges since Trump’s defeat, owing to his adamant advocacy that the election was rigged and his legal attacks on voting machines.
Two voting machine companies have filed defamation lawsuits against Lindell for portraying them as part of an election rigging operation, and he has countersued at least one of them. Dominion Voting Systems sued Lindell for $1.3 billion in defamation in February, and a judge denied Lindell’s request to dismiss the case a month later. Smartmatic, another voting equipment company, has sued Lindell for defamation in an undisclosed amount.
Mike attended Trump’s ‘Save America Rally’
Furthermore, as part of their investigation, the House Capitol attack committee subpoenaed Lindell’s phone records from November 1, 2020, to January 31, 2021, prompting Lindell to sue the committee, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Verizon to stop the panel’s efforts. Lindell, predictably, slammed Pelosi and the committee’s investigation as “election deflection.” Everything is political and criminal.”
Lindell, on the other hand, attended Trump’s “Save America” rally on the Ellipse before the Capitol attack, where Trump urged the crowd to “fight like hell,” and he also attended a Trump rally in Georgia on January 4 where Trump railed about significant fraud without providing evidence. Lindell met with Trump for a brief meeting on January 15 at the White House, where the executive said he informed him of the situation.
Mike Claims that Trump should’ve won
Lindell claimed that he has evidence that Trump won by nearly 15 million votes, with about 82 million for Trump and 67 million for Biden, figures that are nowhere near the official total. Biden won by about 7 million votes, or 81.2 million to Trump’s 74.2 million.
According to Norden of the Brennan Centre, 93 per cent of 2020 votes were cast on paper ballots, including all votes in key battleground states, and post-election audits “confirmed the machine results. It’s beyond absurd that the machines could have been so wildly off and yet none of it was caught by any of the post-election reviews.”
What did Michael Teter say?
On a separate legal note, some watchdog experts believe the lawyers Lindell has hired to handle the anti-voting machine litigation may have ethical issues. “Lawyers must follow the rules of professional conduct, which prohibit lying to a court, bringing frivolous claims, and misrepresenting facts,” said Michael Teter, director of Project 65, a bipartisan legal ethics watchdog focused on lawyers who seek to undermine democracy.
“Mr Lindell may be willing to pay these lawyers hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars to continue the effort that began in 2020 to discredit our elections through bogus lawsuits based on lies, speculation, and distortions,” Teter added. “However, lawyers who take Mr Lindell’s finances and allow the judges to be abused as part of the political theatre may face professional consequences, which we hope they will.”
Lindell’s legal battle appears to be aimed at weakening rather than strengthening the electoral process, according to Brennan Centre’s Norden. “Everything about this [lawsuit] effort smacks of yet another attempt by the same cast of characters to sabotage the electoral process.”