The lawsuit claims that Lindell spread misinformation about election fraud to bolster sales, “irreparably” harming the election software company’s reputation.
WASHINGTON (CN) — Dominion Voting Systems brought a $1.3 billion federal complaint Monday against Mike Lindell, the MyPillow CEO who championed the lie that it somehow stole the 2020 election from former President Donald Trump.
At a time when experienced legal help fled Trump’s losing position, Lindell turned from a prominent supporter to one of the president’s closest advisers.
The 115-page complaint, filed this morning in Washington, states that Lindell exploited the opportunity to boost sales for MyPillow by contributing to a “viral disinformation campaign” about election fraud — even though courts and state election officials have repeatedly rejected allegations of widespread voter fraud.
Dominion was founded nearly two decades ago in Toronto by John Poulos, becoming America’s second-largest manufacturer of voting machine equipment. Following Trump’s election defeat to now-President Joe Biden, however, attorneys like Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani went public with baseless conspiracy theories that insisted Dominion was created in Venezuela to rig elections for Hugo Chávez.
Dominion notes how Lindell spread that “Big Lie” across the country during the March for Trump campaign, a MyPillow-sponsored bonanza during which Lindell toured 20 cities on a bus culminating in the Jan. 6 rally at the U.S. Capitol that quickly devolved into a fatal insurrection.
Lindell became a fixture on several conservative talk shows in the final weeks of 2020, saying Trump got so many votes in an “election night miracle” that he broke the algorithm Dominion had supposedly worked into its voting machines to give “1.3 to Biden and 0.7 to Trump” for every vote cast.
In addition to what he said at rallies, on Twitter and to conservative pundits, according to the complaint, Lindell also helped to finance a defamatory website against Dominion and created a two-hour documentary about election fraud that he titled “Absolute Proof.”
MyPillow meanwhile hawked its wares with promotional codes like “FightforTrump,” “45,” “Proof” and “QAnon” — increasing sales by 30-40%. The Chaska, Minnesota-based company is a co-defendant to the suit.
Dominion says Lindell’s “conspiracy theory” has boosted sales of his book and raised the likelihood that Trump will endorse him for his likely bid for governor of Minnesota.
“Lindell — a talented salesman and former professional card counter — sells the big lie to this day because the lie sells pillows,” the lawsuit states.
Weeks before suing Lindell, Dominion sued both Giuliani and Powell. The two lawyers also face similar litigation from rival voting company Smartmatic, which has additionally sued Fox News and several Fox News anchors.
Dominion says that the allegations about its voting machines have “irreparably” damaged its reputation and jeopardized its contracts with state and local governments. Florida, Louisiana, Michigan and Pennsylvania have told Dominion that they are reviewing and reassessing their contracts with Dominion after pressure from constituents and donors. The company also says that their employees have faced death threats and hate mail.
“No amount of money can repair the damage that’s been done by these lies, which are easily disproved,” the complaint states. “Hundreds of documented audits and recounts have proven that Dominion machines accurately counted votes. We look forward to proving these facts in a court of law.”
Dominion is represented by Thomas Clare, of Clare Locke, a firm based in Alexandria, Virginia.
In an interview with the Associated Press last month, Lindell said he wouldn’t let up on his claims against Dominion.
“You bring it on, Dominion, because I want everybody to see.”
Both Lindell and MyPillow’s corporate account have been suspended from Twitter, and a number of retailers, like Kohl’s and Bed Bath and Beyond, have dropped MyPillow products.