MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell experienced a very bad not-so-good day Thursday in a Washington, D.C., District Court.
U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols, a Trump appointee, did more than just rule against Lindell in his ongoing saga with electronic voting machine companies. The judge said Lindell will have to cover some of the legal costs that Smartmatic has spent defending the company against his lawsuit. How much remains is to be determined.
“Furthermore, the Court orders Smartmatic and Lindell to provide briefs of no more than ten pages discussing the appropriate amount of costs in light of this decision,” concluded the judge’s 31-page decision. Smartmatic has until May 27 to file its documents, and Lindell has until June 3 to make his arguments in support of a small reimbursement amount.
The ugly legal fight between Lindell and the electronic voting machine vendors began after the 2020 general election.
Former President Donald Trump and some supporters accused Democrats of “stealing the election” and claimed electronic voting machines helped that effort.
Dominion particularly objected to Lindell stating during a Newsmax show that “the biggest fraud is the Dominion machines,” which he added “were built to cheat” and “steal elections.”
Legal documents flew fast and furiously between Dominion, Smartmatic and Lindell threatening all kinds of legal actions with dire consequences. Eventually, Dominion sued Lindell and his company, MyPillow; the CEO fired back a countersuit against the voting machine companies. The countersuit appears to be about ended now.
In his countersuit, Lindell alleged that Hamilton Place — Dominion’s public relations firm — threatened him with financial ruin if he did not stop publicly claiming electronic voting machines were used to help candidate Joe Biden defeat President Trump.
“In particular, the court concludes that at the very least Lindell’s claim against Smartmatic under the Support or Advocacy Clause falls on the frivolous side of the line (other claims do, too),” Judge Nichols explained. “As a result, the court orders Lindell and his previous counsel to pay some of the fees and costs Smartmatic has incurred defending itself and moving for sanctions under Rule 11.”
The Rule determines whether a reasonable inquiry would have revealed there was no basis in law or fact for an asserted claim, the judge noted.
The Support or Advocacy Clause applies when two or more people conspire to prevent any citizen lawfully entitled to vote from giving his support or advocacy in a case. Nichols declared that, in order to invoke the Support or Advocacy Clause, a plaintiff must — at a minimum — allege a conspiracy. The judge noted the closest Lindell came was an allegation that the voting machine companies both mailed more than 150 cease-and-desist letters. Lindell argued their express purpose was threatening and intimidating him and others who provided evidence of election fraud in the 2020 general election in their support and advocacy for the 45th president.
“At best, Lindell alleges that Dominion and Smartmatic engaged in ‘parallel conduct,'” the judge reasoned, “but parallel conduct, without more, does not adequately allege a conspiratorial agreement.”
“Whatever the judge thinks, that’s his opinion,” Lindell told Bloomberg Law in a phone call. “I’ve got lawyers doing more important things like removing these machines from every state.”
According to a report from The Hill, Lindell has not decided whether to appeal Judge Nichols’ decision.
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