Members Only | September 19, 2022 | Reading Time: 2 minutes
My Pillow Guy is the heart of the ‘Big Lie’ conspiracy
It’s surprising it took so long for the FBI to take his phone.
Federal agents boxed him in as he waited in at Hardee’s drive-thru last week. They handed Mike Lindell a subpoena and confiscated his phone. What does the FBI want with the My Pillow Guy’s mobile?
Lindell is the sugar daddy of the Big Lie. The eccentric pillow peddler claims that the nation’s voting machines hold proof of a stolen 2020 election. Since Trump’s defeat, he’s spent tens of millions of dollars bankrolling grassroots activists who pressure local Republican election officials to leak highly sensitive data from voting machines.
This data, our data, finds its way to Lindell’s “cybersecurity experts” who write bogus reports crying fraud. These false claims are amplified by Trumpworld celebrities like Steve Bannon. Lindell is also spending millions to build his own right-wing media platform so that his credulous acolytes can absorb his lies without contradiction and nobody can deplatform him for spreading misinformation.
Lindell’s phone was seized because of his links to Tina Peters, the clerk and recorder of Mesa County, Colorado. Last year, members of a Lindell-backed Big Lie group approached Peters with bogus allegations of voter fraud. An itinerant “cybersecurity” analyst with ties to Lindell further stoked her paranoia that an upcoming software update for Colorado’s voting machines would destroy evidence from 2020.
Peters admits that she allowed an unauthorized person to copy Mesa County’s sensitive election data before the software update. The state of Colorado has charged her with multiple felonies in connection with this incident, including identity theft. Mike Lindell’s subpoena reveals that the feds are also investigating allegations of identity theft, intentional damage to a protected computer, and conspiracy stemming from the Mesa County data heist.
Colorado authorities didn’t realize anything was amiss in Mesa County until QAnon luminary Ron Watkins posted the BIOS password for a Dominion voting machine on Telegram. Since these credentials are unique, authorities were able to pinpoint the security breach to Mesa County. A few days later, Watkins purported to “analyze” the stolen data from the Mesa County voting machines in front of an audience at Mike Lindell’s “Cyber Symposium.” Lindell reportedly flew Tina Peters to the conference in his private jet. Afterwards, he helped Peters evade the FBI by putting her up in a safehouse.
The Mesa County breach was not an isolated incident.
Another Colorado county clerk was caught on surveillance cameras copying his county’s voting machine data. Two Lindell associates, Shawn Smith and Mark Cook, talked the clerk of Elbert County through the process over text message.
There are eight documented cases of Trump-linked activists compromising election infrastructure in search of evidence of fraud.
There may be more.
Some of the people involved in those incidents also have ties to Lindell. Lindell denies involvement in any data breach, but the coincidences are beginning to add up.
It’s surprising the FBI waited this long to seize his phone.
Lindsay Beyerstein covers legal affairs, health care and politics for the Editorial Board. An award-winning documentary filmmaker, she’s a judge for the Sidney Hillman Foundation. Find her @beyerstein.
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