A Trump-appointed federal judge has denied MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell’s request to prevent federal agents from searching his cell phone on Thursday, a week after the FBI seized the election denier’s phone as part of an infringement investigation. on election equipment in Colorado.
District Judge Eric Tostrud rejected Lindell’s request for a temporary restraining order that would have prevented the FBI from “taking action” with the cell phone until the court holds a hearing to determine whether the FBI should return it.
The decision comes a day after Lindell sued the FBI to get his phone back, alleging that the agency violated his constitutional rights under the 1st, 4th and 5th Amendments by confiscating his cell phone and arguing that he feared for “his and his friend’s rights” when federal agents surrounded his truck at Hardee’s drive-through in Minnesota.
The judge’s decision allows FBI investigators to continue searching for evidence of violations of three federal statutes related to identity theft, willful damage to a protected computer, and conspiracy to commit identity theft or damage a protected computer. particularly with regard to attempts to damage or take data from voting machines, according to a search warrant.
Lindell has not been charged with any felony, and the search warrant his phone was seized does not indicate whether he is the target of the federal investigation.
Lindell, who has repeatedly spread false claims that the 2020 election was stolen from former President Donald Trump, is under investigation into a 2021 voting system violation in Mesa County, Colorado. He is listed on a federal search warrant along with six others, including Tina Peters, the Mesa County election officer, who was charged on 10 counts by prosecutors in March with tampering with voting machines. Peters allegedly helped facilitate the breach to prove baseless claims of voter fraud, and she later spoke at a symposium Lindell hosted in South Dakota about the 2020 election. Lindell has since doubled down on his false claims, repeatedly claiming that voting machines vote from Trump to President Joe Biden have “turned around”.
Two companies that make voting equipment — Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic — have sued Lindell and his company for libel over its claims that their machines were used to manipulate the 2020 election. Earlier this week, a federal judge ruled that the Smartmatic lawsuit can go ahead, rejecting Lindell’s resignation request. Smartmatic had claimed that Lindell “deliberately lit the fires of xenophobia and party division for the noble purpose of selling his pillows.”
Here’s Why The FBI Is Investigating MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell (Forbes)
MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell Sues FBI For Seizing His Phone At A Hardee’s Drive-Through (Forbes)
Court lets lawsuit against Mike Lindell proceed – here are the defamation cases of Dominion and Smartmatic now (Forbes)