After conspiracy theorist and pillow salesman Mike Lindell tried to renege on a promise to pay $5m to anyone who could prove purported evidence of 2020 election fraud was false, a private arbitration panel has ruled that Mr Lindell has made his bed and must lie in it.
The arbitrators said Nevada-based computer forensics expert Robert Zeidman is entitled to the $5m prize Mr Lindell offered before an August 2021 “cyber symposium” as part of what he called the “Prove Mike Wrong” challenge.
During an appearance right-wing online show called The Glazov Gang, Mr Lindell said the prize would go to “anybody that can prove the election data that I have from the 2020 election was false, is not from the 2020 election”.
He claimed the data he had would show “an attack from China” on voting machines during the 2020 election.
Mr Zeidman entered the contest, and successfully showed that a tranche of internet traffic data Mr Lindell claimed was evidence of Chinese interference in the 2020 presidential election had nothing to do with that election at all.
In a report submitted as part of the contest, he wrote: “I have proven that the data Lindell provides … unequivocally does not contain packet data of any kind and do not contain any information related to the November 2020 election”.
But when Mr Lindell’s company, Lindell Management, refused to pay up, he turned to the binding arbitration specified as the venue for resolving any contest-related disputes in the rules Mr Lindell published when he made his offer.
According to the Washington Post, the arbitration panel conducted a three-day hearing in January featuring sworn testimony from Mr Lindell and Mr Zeidman, as well as experts and other witnesses.
After that proceeding, the panel found that Mr Zeidman showed the purported evidence offered up by the pillow and bedware mogul “unequivocally did not reflect November 2020 election data” and ordered Mr Lindell to pay up within 30 days.
The computer expert told the Post he was “really happy” with the outcome of the arbitration case.
“They clearly saw this as I did — that the data we were given at the symposium was not at all what Mr Lindell said it was,” he said. “The truth is finally out there”.
In a text message to the Post, Mr Lindell said the arbitrators’ decision was “terribly wrong” and claimed he would challenge it in court, though it’s unclear what grounds he would have to do so.
The vehemently pro-Trump entrepreneur may end up missing that $5m at some point in the future, as he is facing a $1.3bn defamation lawsuit from Dominion Voting Systems, which earlier this week garnered a $787m settlement from Fox News in a separate case.
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