MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell waits outside the West Wing of the White House before entering on January 15, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Drew Angerer | Getty Images
Dominion Voting Systems sued MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell on Monday, accusing the staunch ally of former President Donald Trump of pushing false conspiracies about the 2020 election “because the lie sells pillows.”
The $1.3 billion defamation suit says Lindell knew his repeated claims about the election being “stolen” were not backed by evidence, but kept at it anyway to spur Trump’s supporters to buy MyPillow products.
“MyPillow’s defamatory marketing campaign—with promo codes like ‘FightforTrump,’ ’45,’ ‘Proof,’ and ‘QAnon’—has increased MyPillow sales by 30-40% and continues duping people into redirecting their election-lie outrage into pillow purchases,” Dominion’s lawsuit says.
The 115-page complaint filed in Washington, D.C., federal court cites numerous statements Lindell made about Dominion in television interviews and social media posts, as well as in a two-hour documentary-style film that aired on conservative media in February.
Dominion legal counsel Megan Meier in a statement called Lindell’s claims “absolute nonsense” that “cannot be reconciled with any level of logic or truth.”
“But unfortunately, countless people actually believed it and sent MyPillow some of their hard-earned money as a result,” Meier said.
The lawsuit accuses Lindell and MyPillow of defamation and deceptive trade practices.
In a phone interview with CNBC, Lindell said, “I’m very happy that they finally got that suit filed.”
“My message to Dominion is thank you for finally getting this done, because it’ll be back in the limelight now,” Lindell said.
Lindell also disputed Dominion’s claim that his company had profited from his efforts.
“They also say that I benefited, or that my I used this for MyPillow, to advertise, and that’s not true. I lost 22 retailers,” Lindell said. “It’s been cancel culture for MyPillow.”
In a video conference with reporters later Monday morning, Dominion said that Lindell’s claim that his business has suffered as a result of his focus on the election contradicts his own prior statements.
The company also doubted that Lindell actually believes his claims about election fraud and Dominion.
“He’s not the guy from the infomercials,” Meier said during the conference. We’re talking about a former professional card counter … he knows what he’s doing.”
MyPillow’s advertisements, many of which prominently feature Lindell himself, air frequently on Fox News, a channel Trump was known to watch regularly as president. Lindell visited Trump at the White House on multiple occasions, including in the days before Trump left office, when Lindell was photographed carrying notes that made reference to martial law.
Trump, after his loss to President Joe Biden, refused to concede the race and spread an array of unfounded conspiracies alleging widespread voter fraud. His campaign and other allies filed dozens of lawsuits aimed at overturning the election results in key states, most of which were dismissed and none of which succeeded in invalidating enough votes to affect the outcome.
Lindell himself “helped disseminate the Big Lie” that the election was stolen, the lawsuit says, by spreading the “fable” that Dominion’s algorithms had been “programmed to steal votes from Trump.”
In his feature-length video claiming “absolute proof” of election theft, Lindell asserted that that fraud had only been discovered because Trump’s lead on election night was so massive that the “machines broke.“
Dominion’s lawsuit says Lindell was “repeating his defamatory falsehoods even though he knew Dominion employees were receiving death threats because of them.”
The suit against Lindell is only the latest effort by Dominion to seek redress for the “enormous harm” caused by the “viral disinformation campaign” against the voting company, whose systems were used in some areas of the U.S. during the presidential election.
Last month, Dominion sued Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, accusing him of proliferating similar conspiracies about the company in order to “financially enrich himself.”
Giuliani had called that lawsuit, which also seeks more than $1.3 billion in punitive and compensatory damages, an “act of intimidation by the hate-filled left-wing to wipe out and censor the exercise of free speech, as well as the ability of lawyers to defend their clients vigorously.”
Smartmatic, another elections equipment company targeted amid a flurry of conspiracies in the wake of Biden’s victory, filed its own multibillion-dollar defamation suit in early February against the owner of Fox News.
Fox has filed a motion to dismiss that lawsuit.