Nine of Hearts: ‘MyPillow Guy’ Mike Lindell: Falsely Promoted Trump’s Big Election Lies, Financed Fake State Audits

Building the “Big Lie”: Inside the Creation of Trump’s Stolen Election Myth — ProPublica

Internal emails and interviews with key participants reveal for the first time the extent to which leading advocates of the rigged election theory touted evidence they knew to be disproven, disputed or dismissed as dubious.

ProPublica has obtained a trove of internal emails and other documentation that, taken together, tell the inside story of a group of people who propagated a number of the most pervasive theories about how the election was stolen, especially that voting machines were to blame, and helped move them from the far-right fringe to the center of the Republican Party.

Those records, as well as interviews with key participants, show for the first time the extent to which leading advocates of the stolen-election theory touted evidence that they knew to be disproven or that had been credibly disputed or dismissed as dubious by operatives within their own camp. Some members of the coalition presented this mix of unreliable witnesses, unconfirmed rumor and suspect analyses as fact in published reports, talking points and court documents. In several cases, their assertions became the basis for Trump’s claims that the election had been rigged.

Our examination of their actions from the 2020 election to the present day reveals a pattern. Many members of the coalition would advance a theory based on evidence that was never vetted or that they’d been told was flawed; then, when the theory was debunked, they’d move on to the next alternative and then the next.

 

Follow disclosure of Lindell’s promotion of the Big Lie through these news accounts:

MyPillow, CEO sticks by Trump, baselessly blames Antifa for Capitol violence. Business Journal” bizjournals.com, Jan. 8 2021

Liddell on Twitter claimed Trump won by an historic landslide and blamed his loss on “one of the biggest foreign attacks in our country ever!” 

 

newsweek.com, Feb. 2, 2021

Tuesday “social media censorship” segment on Newsmax ended in dramatic fashion as MyPillow founder and ardent President Donald Trump supporter Mike Lindell ranted about election fraud until one of the anchors walked off the set.

One of Newsmax’s live broadcast anchors, Bob Sellers, appealed to the show’s producers “can we get out of here please,” after he asked Lindell whether he should be permanently or temporarily banned fromTwitter. Instead of responding to the question, Lindell launched into a tirade about voting machine fraud and other false conspiracies that pulled several TV networksinto legal problemslate last year. Sellers could be seen removing his microphones and physically departing the set as Lindell continued yelling. newsweek.com, Feb. 2, 2021

Why Mike Lindell Can’t Stop

The MyPillow tycoon has lost business pumping up Trump conspiracy theories, and probably lost his chance at a political future. But he believes he’s on a divine mission to overturn the election—and he’s not alone.

By DAVID SIDERS

David Siders is a national political correspondent for POLITICO.

06/15/2021 [Excerpts]

https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2021/06/15/mike-lindell-mypillow-trump-election-conspiracy-494302

For people like Lindell, the belief that Trump didn’t lose is an invitation to replace grief with something more comforting: a sense of purpose.

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Lindell found Jesus, right? He got sober. That’s the real important piece to me. He found truth. He’d been making money … and doing drugs and all of that stuff. That’s all emptiness,” said Mike Madrid, a Republican strategist who was a co-founder of the anti-Trump Lincoln Project before stepping down in December. “What gave him the certainty he was looking for was evangelical Christianity. He was born again. … He needs the rigidity of a social structure to say this is right and that is wrong and that’s what keeps me straight.”

Talk-show host Eric Metaxas told Lindell that visiting the MyPillow headquarters felt like a “pilgrimage to something more than what it is. It represents something.”Madrid said, “You upset that, and you start to become a little unhinged. … I don’t think he’s a bad man. I think he’s a lost man.” In the election conspiracy, he said, “He found something he could hold onto.”

Judging by public opinion polling, lots of Republicans seem to be in this camp. They believed Trump. Or they believed pastors who told them that he was chosen by God, and it makes no sense to them that he didn’t win. For those people, Lindell offers a special kind of reassurance. Here’s a man who not only says Trump won and will be reinstated, but whose own redemption story—quitting crack, building a business and amassing a fortune, gradually finding God before making a “full surrender to Jesus Christ” while at a religious retreat at Lake Tahoe in 2017—was so unlikely that if he believes Trump might come back, it just might happen.

 

The MyPillow Guy Really Could Destroy Democracy

Anne Applebaum

July 29, 2021

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2021/07/mike-lindells-plot-destroy-america/619593/

In the time I spent with Mike Lindell, I came to learn that he is affable, devout, philanthropic—and a clear threat to the nation.

[Except:]

In the cases of Aschberg and Ford, this had tragic, real-world consequences. Lindell hasn’t created Ford-level havoc yet, but the potential is there. Along with Bannon, Giuliani, and the rest of the conspiracy posse, he is helping create profound distrust in the American electoral system, in the American political system, in the American public-health system, and ultimately in American democracy. The eventual consequences of their actions may well be a genuinely stolen or disputed election in 2024, and political violence on a scale the U.S. hasn’t seen in decades. You can mock Lindell, dismiss him, or call him a crackhead, but none of this will seem particularly funny when we truly have an illegitimate president in the White House and a total breakdown of law and order.

 

Election Law Blog

https://electionlawblog.org/?p=123748

MyPillow’s CEO is at it again

July 30, 2021, election subversion risk NED FOLEY

WSJ reports that My Pillow is pulling all its ads from Fox News because of controversy over an ad that CEO Mike Lindell wanted to run to promote a “cyber symposium” he’s organized to propagate his conspiracy theories about how China hacked the 2020 election. (The Hill also has a follow-on report.) 

Meanwhile, in The Atlantic Anne Applebaum has an extensive piece on Lindell with the ominous title “THE MYPILLOW GUY REALLY COULD DESTROY DEMOCRACY.” You’ll want to read it just for its description of the lunch Applebaum had with Lindell. But its significance is its description of the sheer zealotry by which Lindell holds his bizarre beliefs about how China managed to steal the election for Biden. 

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What has been so astounding to me since these claims surfaced (and the similar one about Venezuela) is how demonstrably false based on the kind of statewide manual recount that Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger ordered in Georgia. It doesn’t matter what software is inside a state’s voting machines once all the ballots have been hand counted and the initial machine count is confirmed. Chris Krebs made this point to Applebaum when she asked him about Lindell’s latest claims:

When I called Chris Krebs, the Trump administration’s director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, he refused even to get into the question of whether Lindell has authentic data, because the whole proposal is absurd. The heavy use of paper ballots, plus all of the postelection audits and recounts, mean that any issues with mechanized voting systems would have been quickly revealed. “It’s all part of the grift,” Krebs told me. “They’re exploiting the aggrieved audience’s confirmation bias and using scary yet unintelligible imagery to keep the Big Lie alive, despite the absence of any legitimate evidence.”

If Lindell and his demonstrably false claims are really as dangerous to American democracy as Applebaum argue, the crucial question is how to counteract this threat. The defamation lawsuits by the voting machine companies against Lindell and others may help. If the judiciary requires Lindell to pay punitive damages for deliberate or reckless falsities that are beyond First Amendment protection under New York Times v. Sullivan, that might have a deterrent effect against the future propagation of similar electoral disinformation. 

But should the legal remedy for Lindell’s threat to democracy go beyond private party civil defamation suits? I’ve raised the possibility of invoking 18 U.S. Code § 371 against Trump for his incessant repetition of the demonstrably false claim that he was robbed of a reelection victory. Once AG Barr called it “b__s__”, Trump and his team were on notice that repetition of this false claim was beyond First Amendment protection. Lindell was part of Trump’s team, going to the White House as part of their mutual effort to undo Biden’s victory.

One should at least explore the question whether Lindell warrants prosecution for attempting to “defraud the United States” through his orchestrated disinformation campaign. If this statute can be properly invoked against Russian disinformation aimed at undermining US elections, can it not also be used (although cautiously so) against US citizens aiming to destroy America’s democracy through blatant falsity that is clearly reckless (if not deliberate) under New York Times v. Sullivan? One goal of prosecuting Lindell under this statute might be a plea agreement pursuant to which he publicly and widely renounces his disinformation campaign. Then Lindell would be paying for messages, not that Trump lost, but that it was all “b__s__” all along, just as Barr said.

 

In the months since Trump’s failed coup, government documents have further revealed the extent of attorney Kurt Olsen’s behind-the-scenes crusade to try to keep him in power. 

Adam Rawnsley

Asawin Suebsaeng

Aug. 15, 2021

https://www.thedailybeast.com/author/asawin-suebsaeng

[Excerpts:]

Emails released by the House Oversight Committee and reporting by Politico show that after the election, the Maryland attorney rose from relative obscurity in conservative politics to capture the ear of then-President Trump. Despite his access, several lawyers and administration officials intimately involved with the anti-democratic effort did not know or simply couldn’t remember Olsen—a reflection of the disjointed and chaotic state of post-election MAGA politics as different factions pushed competing authoritarian ideas and fought amongst themselves

Out of six knowledgeable Trumpworld sources contacted for this story, several said they hadn’t directly dealt at all with Olsen, though they knew Trump was enamored by the ideas he was selling. One former senior Trump aide said they purposely avoided contact or involvement with Olsen, describing his legal theories as pure “nonsense.”

Furthermore, Olsen’s name also appeared on a memo that was hand-delivered to Trump in his very last days in office—a memo that also appeared to include a recommendation on resorting to “martial law if necessary.”

When pillow magnate and staunch Trump ally Mike Lindell visited the White House to brief Trump and administration officials and attorneys on his wild claims of Chinese hacking efforts in the 2020 election, Olsen’s name even appeared in a photo of documents Lindell brought to Trump, next to figures like Sidney Powell and Kash Patel, as suggestions for who Trump should appoint to senior positions during his quest to stay in power.

Lindell’s fondness for Olsen continued into the post-Trump era. As Lindell’s “cyber symposium” in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, was ongoing last week, Olsen commented on a Washington Times story and was referred to as a member of the MyPillow CEO’s team of lawyers.

 

“Mike Lindell lashes out as cyber expert demands $5M reward for debunking election data”

August 19, 2021, 9:41 pmfraudulent fraud squadRICK HASEN

Salon:

MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell is scrambling to defend his claims of election fraud after a cybersecurity expert demanded his cut of the $5 million reward Lindell had promised to anyone who could disprove the accuracy of his alleged election data. 

Bill Alderson is a longtime cybersecurity professional specializing in packet captures — the exact type of data Lindell claimed to be in possession of — and attended the pillow maven’s “cyber symposium out of a legitimate desire to “discover the truth.” A longtime Republican, Alderson said he supported Donald Trump in 2020 and told Lindell when he was invited to the event, “I’d love to prove you right.”

Only, he couldn’t. 

Lindell has long claimed to be in possession of a large set of network data from the 2020 election, saved as packet captures, or .pcap files. He’s even claimed that it contained every vote cast last November. 

Not so, says Alderson. It took roughly 45 minutes for him to see that the data given to him and the dozens of other experts in attendance was bunk — not only did it fail to prove anything about the accuracy of the 2020 election, but the files weren’t even in the right format. (Boldface added)

 

Matt Shuham, The Franchise, from TPM, October 4, 2021

 

The Franchise from TPM, OCTOBER 18, 2021 || ISSUE NO. 23

 

The Fallout Continues From Mike Lindell’s ‘Cyber Symposium’
A state judge this week prohibited Mesa County, COLORADO Clerk Tina Peters from administering the upcoming November elections, the result of Peters allowing an unauthorized man into a software update for voting machines, after which digital images of the election machines were leaked online.

The digital images were then presented at Mike Lindell’s “Cyber Symposium” in August, with Peters in attendance.

But that’s not all: As we’ve reported, Lindell’s symposium also included digital images of voting machines from Antrim County, Michigan, where Big Liars pursued a lawsuit alleging widespread election fraud.

The judge in that case allowed the plaintiffs to view the machines’ code, but only under a judicial seal. How it ended up on the big screen at Lindell’s event remains unclear. 

The lead attorney for the plaintiffs, Matthew DePerno, is also now a Trump-endorsed contender for attorney general. According to newly reported court filings, DePerno sent Lindell a cease-and-desist email in the middle of the conference. 

The digital images reached Lindell in suspicious fashion: Two “expert” witnesses in DePerno’s suit were also speakers at the symposium.

 

At the Willard and the White House, the Jan. 6 Panel Widens Its Net

What went on at a five-star hotel near the White House the day before the riot could be a window into how a Trump-directed plot to upend the election ended in violence at the Capitol.

[Excerpt]
Mr. Flynn was also present at the Trump International Hotel on Jan. 5 for a meeting that included about 15 people, where the discussion centered on “how to put pressure on more members of Congress to object to the Electoral College results,” according to one attendee, Charles Herbster, a Republican candidate for governor of Nebraska.

Among those in attendance, according to Mr. Herbster, were Mr. Trump’s sons Eric and Donald Jr.; Mr. Giuliani; Senator Tommy Tuberville of Alabama; the Trump advisers Peter Navarro, Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie; and Mike Lindell, the MyPillow executive and conspiracy theorist. (Boldface added)

 

Mike Lindell Finally Reveals His Supreme Court Complaint, And Critics Have Notes

The plaintiff on the MyPillow magnate’s Supreme Court complaint was listed as “[Insert your state].”

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/mike-lindell-supreme-court-complaint_n_619d93b9e4b0451e5500c684

[Excerpts:]

MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell on Tuesday released a copy of his long-promised Supreme Court complaint to overturn the 2020 presidential election, though it had not actually been filed and it listed the plaintiff as “[insert your state].”

The pillow magnate turned conspiracy theorist has vowed again and again that he would file an election fraud complaint directly to the U.S. Supreme Court that would somehow reinstate Donald Trump as president.

He had predicted this fantastical reinstatement would take place in August, then September and then by the end of the year.

“We will have this before the Supreme Court before Thanksgiving,” he promised in September. “That’s my promise to the people of this country.”

On Tuesday evening, he published a copy of the complaint on his website, though it appeared to be missing some essential components and he had apparently failed to get any state attorneys general to sign on to it.

“We are in unchartered territory as a Nation. The November 2020 election was stolen,” the complaint begins, before launching into a series of false and debunked allegations about supposed illegal voting in Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona and Pennsylvania.

Earlier this month, Lindell claimed that he had “tons” of state attorneys general signing on to the complaint, though he refused to name any. He said all of them would sign the complaint together on Nov. 23 before its 9 a.m. filing with the court.

But as 9 a.m. came and went Tuesday, no lawsuit had been filed, and Lindell offered a fresh batch of conspiracy theories to explain away his broken promise.

Nobody had signed because of a pressure campaign orchestrated by Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel, he claimed in a livestream Monday night. On Tuesday morning, he blamed coronavirus vaccine mandates, declaring that he had met “many AGs,” but they were too busy “fighting these mandates where kids had to take the vaccine.”

Legal experts and critics offered bemused commentary on the document: [See above link to article]

 

Mike Lindell Blames a Vast GOP Conspiracy for His Supreme Court Failure

[Excerpts:]

It was a last-minute pressure campaign orchestrated by the RNC and McDaniel that prevented his case from moving forward and “saving the country,” Lindell now alleges.

“We believe that they have reached out to multiple [attorneys general] and put pressure on them, not to sign the Supreme Court complaint,” Lindell said Monday on his evening livestream, this time from aboard his private plane as he scrambled to lock down the signatures required to file his complaint with the high court.

With a poor WiFi connection marring his live-streamed rant, Lindell blasted McDaniel, alleging she orchestrated a vast Republican conspiracy against him when she finally acknowledged late last week that President Joe Biden won the 2020 election.

“How dare the RNC try and stop this case from getting to the Supreme Court. Shame on you, RNC! You are worse than Fox [News] now!” he stated, referencing his claims that the cable giant has silenced him. “You can’t tell me why Ronna McDaniel, the head of the RNC, made a statement saying Biden won three days before this Supreme Court complaint was supposed to go to the Supreme Court.”

“What about the timing of that, America!” he continued. “Why would she say that at that moment in time? She didn’t have to say that. What, is she trying to get more donor money? Is she trying to get donor money from Democrats? She is as RINO as they come!” McDaniel did not immediately respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment.

 

Judge rejects Fox News request to dismiss Dominion Voting’s defamation lawsuit over election claims

By Timothy Bella

December 17, 2021 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/12/17/judge-fox-news-dominion-lawsuit-election/

[Excerpts:]

A judge on Thursday rejected a request from Fox News to dismiss a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit from Dominion Voting Systems over baseless claims made against the company during the 2020 presidential election, allowing the suit to move forward.

Delaware Superior Court Judge Eric M. Davis said it was “reasonably conceivable” for the Denver-based voting-machine company to have a defamation claim.

“The Court can infer that Fox intended to avoid the truth,” Davis wrote in a 52-page ruling. “Whether Dominion ultimately will prove Fox’s actual malice by clear and convincing evidence is irrelevant on a motion to dismiss. … Accordingly, Fox’s Motion should be denied.”

Dominion filed the lawsuit against Fox News earlier this year, claiming that some of its highest-profile on-air talent helped elevate false charges that the company had changed votes to favor Joe Biden over then-President Donald Trump.

The lawsuit claims that hosts such as Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Jeanine Pirro brought Trump allies onto their shows to spread lies asserting that Dominion was using algorithms in voting machines that were created in Venezuela to rig multiple elections for Hugo Chávez, the late president.

Dominion alerted Fox News and its anchors to information disproving the false claims being broadcast against the company, according to the judge. The allegations from Dominion in the lawsuit show that Fox was given “signs indicating the reports were false,” Davis wrote.

“Fox possessed countervailing evidence of election fraud from the Department of Justice, election experts, and Dominion at the time it had been making its statements,” the judge wrote. “The fact that, despite this evidence, Fox continued to publish its allegations against Dominion, suggests Fox knew the allegations were probably false.”

The judge’s ruling, considered a major win for Dominion, comes about a year after the company was the subject of many baseless accusations about election fraud following November 2020. After his loss, Trump and his allies spread false claims that, as he put it, voting software is “used in states where tens of thousands of votes were stolen from us and given to Biden.” When he was still on Twitter, Trump, who described Dominion as “horrible, inaccurate and anything but secure,” retweeted a baseless report that the voting-machine system had “deleted 2.7 million Trump votes nationwide.”Election results under attack: Here are the facts

There is no evidence that any voting systems were compromised, according to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, which is part of the Department of Homeland Security. Trump’s attorney general, William P. Barr, also confirmed that he had “not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election.”

The lawsuit specifies how Trump allies such as Rudolph W. Giuliani, Sidney Powell and Mike Lindell were given platforms on shows hosted by Carlson, Hannity and Pirro to spread the false claims of election fraud. Fox Business Network host Maria Bartiromo and Lou Dobbs, whose show was canceled earlier this year, are also mentioned in the lawsuit.

Dominion pointed to how Hannity and Dobbs “brought on Mr. Giuliani and Ms. Powell to assert their claims that Dominion rigged the election by changing votes in its machines.” Another instance mentioned in the lawsuit involved when Carlson brought Lindell, the founder of MyPillow, onto his show to talk about his ban from Twitter, only for him to spread false claims of election fraud against Dominion.

“Carlson endorsed Mr. Lindell’s claim that Mr. Lindell found the machine fraud and had all the evidence,” according to the complaint.

Dominion eventually sent an email to Fox personalities and producers titled, “SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT: FACTS & RUMORS,” the judge noted. Election officials and experts also went on the network to emphasize how there was “absolutely no evidence” that Dominion changed votes during the election.

“Despite these efforts, Fox continued to promote known lies on its broadcasts, websites, social media accounts and subscription service platforms,” Davis wrote. “Mr. Dobbs, Ms. Bartiromo, and Mr. Hannity also continued to give Ms. Powell and Mr. Giuliani a platform to disseminate lies about Dominion by hosting them on their shows. Mr. Dobbs, Ms. Bartiromo and Mr. Hannity likewise endorsed and repeated those lies.”

The lawsuit claimed that Bartiromo “continued promoting lies even though she had been specifically notified that independent fact-checkers, government officials and election security experts debunked those lies about Dominion.”

“Moreover, Ms. Bartiromo had actual knowledge that Georgia conducted a hand recount of every paper ballot,” Davis wrote.

The network has defended its coverage, arguing that media must be able to fully report a story that involves claims that hit at the core of U.S. democracy. The judge rejected Fox’s argument that some of its top personalities were reporting the news with flair, saying that “Fox’s reporting comprised opinion ‘mixed’ with false facts.”

“Although Fox classifies its reporters’ remarks as ‘commentary’ that used ‘loose and hyperbolic rhetoric’ for entertainment value, even loose and hyperbolic language can be actionable if it rests on false statements of fact undisclosed to viewers,” the judge said.

The lawsuit against Fox is one of several that Dominion has brought stemming from false claims after the election. Separate defamation lawsuits filed by Dominion against Powell, a former Trump campaign lawyer, and Giuliani, Trump’s former attorney, previously survived motions to dismiss in federal court in Washington.

Dominion isn’t the only election technology company to sue Fox over its election coverage. Smartmatic Corp. is suing the network for $2.7 billion in damages, as part of a lawsuit that also names Pirro, Bartiromo and Dobbs as defendants. Fox has also requested to dismiss that lawsuit.

The Dominion defamation lawsuit against Fox will continue toward a final judgment, with both sides gathering evidence in the case.

[Boldface added]

 

 

Mike Lindell’s lawyers are dodging meetings for Dominion’s defamation lawsuit and refusing to hand over discovery material, court documents show

January 25, 2022

https://www.businessinsider.com/mike-lindell-wont-give-dominion-discovery-material-in-defamation-suit-2022-1

Lawyers for MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell are dodging requests to hand over discovery material for Dominion’s $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit, according to a court filing in the sprawling defamation case.

In a filing submitted to the judge Monday night, the other lawyers in the case say that Lindell’s lawyers stopped showing up to meetings designed to hash out a schedule for the case the day after Dominion’s lawyers served them with a request for documents.

“Lindell and MyPillow’s change in position on whether the Court ordered and the Parties engaged in a [scheduling] conference presumably reflects their effort to avoid responding to requests for production Plaintiffs served the day before,” the filing says.

The filing was signed by attorneys representing every other party in the case, including Dominion, Sidney Powell, Rudy Giuliani, and Smartmatic. Attorneys for Mike Lindell and MyPillow didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Dominion sued Lindell and his pillow company in February 2021, alleging he damaged the company when he pushed false conspiracy theories about the election technology company’s role in the 2020 election.

Around the same time, Dominion also sued Giuliani and Powell, two attorneys who worked for former President Donald Trump and who also pushed false theories that the election was rigged for the benefit of now-President Joe Biden.

In the intervening months, US District Judge Carl J. Nichols, who is overseeing the lawsuits, denied motions from Lindell, Powell, and Giuliani to dismiss the lawsuits. Nichols also consolidated them into one case that will move to trial in tandem. Lindell has unsuccessfully tried to convince Nichols that he and MyPillow should be considered separate entities, and has counter-sued Dominion, its public relations company Hamilton Place Strategies, and Smartmatic, a separate election technology company also ensnared in election conspiracy theories.

To move the cases forward, in September Nichols ordered all the parties to meet and hash out a schedule for the discovery process and additional motions. According to the new filing, Dominion wants Lindell, Giuliani, and Powell to hand over documents related to the statements they made about Dominion in media interviews, as well as depositions.

But, after attending a few scheduling meetings, Lindell’s lawyers informed the others on January 6 that they didn’t want to participate in the scheduling conferences anymore. Lindell’s lawyers said they’re planning to appeal Nichols’s rejection of their motion to dismiss all the way to the Supreme Court, and that they wouldn’t participate in discovery until then.

“Lindell and MyPillow’s position is that they will refuse to participate in consolidated discovery unless and until they have fully exhausted their appeal of the Court’s denial of their Motions to Dismiss,” the new filing says, adding: “Lindell and MyPillow also said they are seriously taking appeals from both orders all the way to the United States Supreme Court, if need be.”

Powell and Giuliani have not appealed Nichols’s ruling. Their attorneys said in the new filing that they believe they will win their cases through summary judgment, a procedure by which the judge issues a ruling on the case without a jury trial.

Until then, Dominion has asked Nichols for a deadline of September 29 for each party to hand over discovery material ahead of a trial anticipated for 2023.

 

A Reuters Special Report: Trump Allies Breach U.S. Voting Systems in Search of 2020 Fraud ‘Evidence’

Chasing proof of vote-rigging conspiracy theories, Republican officials and activists in eight U.S. locales have plotted to gain illegal access to balloting systems, undermining the security of elections they claim to protect.

By ALEXANDRA ULMER and NATHAN LAYNE

Filed April 28, 2022

https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/usa-election-breaches?

[Excerpts:]

The rise of what election-security officials describe as “insider threats” – officeholders who leak confidential election data or sabotage voting machines – coincides with the national pressure campaign by Lindell-backed groups and other Trump allies who are traveling the country and lobbying local officials to replace electronic voting systems with hand-counted paper ballots. The push comes ahead of the November midterm elections that will decide control of the U.S. Congress, now narrowly held by Democrats, and the 2024 presidential election, in which Trump has indicated he could seek a second White House term.

County and town clerks are in the thick of things, in some cases as targets of the pressure, in others as the alleged actors. Clerks in the United States are often key election administrators, in addition to managing vital records, such as marriage licenses.

The American right’s fixation with voting machines intensified in the days after Democrat Joe Biden beat Trump. The defeated incumbent and his lawyers, including former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, started making outlandish claims of rigged machines. The accusations were soon deemed bogus by courts and Trump’s own election-security chief, and spurred ongoing defamation lawsuits against Giuliani and others from a prime target of the Trump camp, voting-machine provider Dominion Voting Systems.

Dominion’s machines have been the focus of multiple baseless election conspiracy theories, including that financier George Soros and the family of Venezuela’s late socialist President Hugo Chavez conspired with Denver-based Dominion to steal the election.

Dominion said statements by Lindell and others “about Dominion have been repeatedly debunked, including by bipartisan government officials.”

Despite the lack of evidence, many Trump allies continue to insist that electronic voting machines were rigged in 2020 and argue for a return to paper ballots. Election officials from both parties warn such a change would make voting less secure. They say electronic voting machines provide more fraud safeguards than paper ballots by reducing human errors and preventing delays that could be exploited by bad actors seeking to block the certification of results.

——–

Griswold, who did not attend the meeting, said she would not be “intimidated.”

“These threats are being fueled by extreme elected officials and political insiders who are spreading the Big Lie” – that 2020 vote was stolen – “to further suppress the vote, destabilize American elections, and undermine voter confidence,” she said in a statement.

Lindell told Reuters that Cause of America is just a small part of his overall effort to prove the 2020 election was stolen and to change election rules. He said he funds South Dakota-registered Cause of America and pays other election-focused employees through Lindell Management, a Minnesota -based LLC registered in 2018.

“I have over probably 50 to 70 people that I pay, that all they’re doing is on this election,” Lindell, 60, said in an interview. “I guess Cause of America would be a little piece of that.” The group helps connect other groups with lawyers.

Lindell, who says he is a former cocaine addict and attributes his reform to his Christian faith, has said he believes God chose Trump to be president. Now Lindell says God endorses his pursuit of election-fraud claims.

“God has given me an amazing platform,” he said. “I’m using it the best I can.”

Lindell has publicly praised Tina Peters, the Republican clerk of Colorado’s Mesa County, who has been charged in connection with one of the most invasive breaches of voting systems. In an interview, Lindell said of the allegations against Peters: “She backed up her computers. She did her job.”

He told Reuters he was paying her legal fees. “I’m sure it’s in the hundreds of thousands of dollars,” he said. In a subsequent interview, however, Lindell said he was mistaken: “I thought I put money towards it, but I never had.”

 

 

Lin Wood Sours Hard on Pal Mike Lindell as Election Audit Falls Apart

May 20, 2022

“I can’t tell you the number of times somebody said, ‘You don’t have to believe the election is stolen, the important thing isn’t believing it, it’s saying it. . . . That is what a Republican is supposed to do right now.”

— –Defeated Republican member of Congress Peter Meijer