According to Lindell, FBI agents seized a cellphone belonging to Mike Lindell, the founder of MyPillow and a prominent election denier, as part of a federal investigation into an alleged breach of voting machines in Colorado.
The agents served Lindell with a search warrant and grand jury subpoena in the drive-through area of a Hardee’s restaurant in Mankato, Minn., on Tuesday afternoon, he said on his online TV show. Lindell stated that the agents questioned him about Tina Peters, the Mesa County clerk who was indicted in March on charges of assisting an outsider in copying sensitive data from the county’s elections systems in May 2021.
Lindell said the FBI agents also asked him about an image copied from a Mesa County voting machine that was published on his website, Frank Speech.
Lindell told The Washington Post over the phone on Wednesday that he was not involved in the copying of Mesa County’s election management system and that he did not meet Peters until she attended a “cyber symposium” he hosted in South Dakota in August 2021.
The FBI’s action against Lindell, who has used his multimillion-dollar pillow fortune to fund high-profile films, conferences, and other media promoting election disinformation, indicates that the federal investigation into the alleged breach in Mesa County is broadening. The investigation is one of several ongoing in states such as Michigan and Georgia into alleged security breaches at local election offices.
Attempts to gain access to sensitive voting equipment, in some cases with the assistance of like-minded local officials, were made in order to find evidence that the machines were used to rig the 2020 election. Access to such equipment is supposed to be restricted.
The FBI was looking for information about tampering with Dominion Voting Systems equipment, which is used in Mesa and many other counties across the country, according to a document Lindell displayed on his show, which he claimed was a copy of the search warrant. Former President Donald Trump and others who promote false conspiracy theories about election fraud have attacked Dominion. Lindell, Fox News, and other prominent election deniers are being sued for defamation.
According to the document, authorities were looking for evidence of possible violations of federal laws against identity theft and intentional damage to a protected computer by Lindell, Peters, and others.
Lindell also displayed a grand jury subpoena dated Sept. 7, which he claimed was given to him by FBI agents. The subpoena requested testimony before a federal grand jury in Grand Junction, Colorado, on Nov. 3, but the document did not specify whether Lindell was required to testify or simply provide his phone number. Lindell also provided a copy of the subpoena to The Washington Post.
A state grand jury had previously indicted Peters and two other Mesa officials on a variety of felony and misdemeanor charges, including conspiracy to commit criminal impersonation. Prosecutors accuse them of helping Conan Hayes, a former pro surfer who reinvented himself as a data expert, gain access to Mesa County election systems and copy sensitive files in May 2021.
Lindell claimed in the interview on Wednesday morning that he was being targeted because of his efforts to eliminate electronic voting machines. “Do you think I’m going to quit now?” he sneered. He said he would welcome the opportunity to speak with the House select committee investigating the Capitol attack on Jan. 6, but that “they won’t have me because I’d bring the evidence… that the election was stolen.”
Dozens of judges rejected Trump and his allies’ post-election challenges, while multiple local, state, and federal officials said claims of widespread fraud in the 2020 election were unfounded.
According to an email Peters sent last year, Lindell sent his private plane to pick up Peters in Colorado and fly her to his symposium. Lindell previously told The Washington Post that he had paid for Peters’ lodging, security, and lawyers after her appearance at the event prompted a state and federal investigation.
Hayes was one of five people named on the federal search warrant served on Lindell. He has not been charged. A phone number listed in law enforcement documents for Hayes is no longer active.