Trump ally and 2020 election denier Mike Lindell has FBI phone seizure case rejected by Supreme Court

MyPillow CEO, who was sued for promoting voting machine conspiracy theories in support of Donald Trump, suffers fresh legal setback

Joe Sommerlad
Thursday 18 April 2024 13:31 BST
Related: Newsmax anchor walks away from Mike Lindell interview

Mike Lindell, the MyPillow founder and avid Donald Trump supporter, has seen his petition challenging the FBI’s seizure of his mobile phone rejected by the US Supreme Court.

The highest court in the US ruled this week that it would not reconsider three lower court rulings that went against Mr Lindell over the seizure of his phone by agents at a Hardee’s drive-through restaurant in Mankato, Minnesota, in September 2022 as part of an investigation into an alleged scheme to breach voting system technology in Mesa County, Colorado.

The complainant had alleged the confiscation violated his constitutional rights against unlawful search and seizure and was an attempt by the US government to inhibit his freedom of speech.

But the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed, with a three-justice panel writing last September: “While he has at times attempted to assert otherwise, Lindell’s objective in this action is apparent – this litigation is a tactic to, at a minimum, interfere with and, at most, enjoin a criminal investigation and ultimately hamper any potential federal prosecution.”

Mr Lindell attempted to elevate his case to the Supreme Court in February, complaining that his device had still not been returned to him, but this week’s decision knocks him back.

It represents only the latest setback the eccentric entrepreneur has suffered as a consequence of his loudly promoting unfounded conspiracy theories about the alleged manipulation of voting machines during the 2020 presidential election.

The Christian businessman’s insistence that machines at polling stations had been tampered with by Democrat-aligned operatives to prevent Mr Trump winning caused him to be sued for defamation by two manufacturers of those machines, Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic, seeking millions of dollars in damages.

Mr Lindell repeatedly denied any wrongdoing in those cases but, in October, lost the defence lawyers representing him when they walked out en masse over unpaid legal bills.

Mike Lindell talks to reporters at the Republican National Committee winter meeting (AP)

He has also seen his brand’s advertising slots on a number of conservative cable news channels terminated and his relationships with several major retailers severed over his political activism, with Bed Bath & Beyond, Kohl’s, QVC, JCPenney and Wayfair all declining to stock his pillows.

Mr Lindell has attempted to characterise his plight as a form of “cancellation” and has complained of being unable to afford loans and having to auction off personal items and company equipment to make ends meet.

He also claimed during an appearance on Steve Bannon’s War Room podcast last September that MyPillow had been “crippled” after his credit line was cut from $1m to $100,000 “out of the blue” by American Express.

Asked about his financial situation by NBC News last year, Mr Lindell said candidly: “We’ve lost everything, every dime. All of it is gone.”

He added that he would gladly have paid his lawyers if that were not the case and praised them as “brave and courageous”.

For all that, he remained bloodied but unbowed, telling the broadcaster: “I will never stop trying to secure our elections.”

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in