MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell was seen hurrying off the stage at his “Cyber Symposium” in Sioux Falls, South Dakota as the news broke that a judge had ruled that the defamation lawsuit against him by Dominion Voting Systems could move ahead.
During a June hearing, Mr Lindell tried to get the suit dismissed, but US District Judge Carl Nichols ruled on Wednesday that the defamation lawsuits against Mr Lindell and pro-Trump lawyers Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani should be allowed to proceed. Dominion is seeking more than a billion dollars in damages from each of the defendants.
Judge Nichols said in his decision that the First Amendment doesn’t provide “blanket immunity” to Mr Lindell. Dominion is arguing that they were defamed by Mr Lindell’s baseless claims that the election was rigged by the company to thwart former President Donald Trump.
The voting machine manufacturer also filed further lawsuits earlier this week against right-wing networks One America News and Newsmax, alleging that they have been airing false narratives surrounding the election.
Mr Lindell is in South Dakota hosting a three-day “Cyber Symposium” from 10 to 12 August, trying to prove the validity of his election conspiracy theories.
After the news that the judge in his case had ruled against him had broken, Mr Lindell could be seen leaving the symposium stage at around 6pm on Wednesday.
Mr Lindell previously pledged to stay on stage for three days straight, saying that he wouldn’t break for lunch.
“There’s no breaks!... You guys can go eat. That’s fine, but I ain’t eating! I’m staying up here for 72 hours,” he said.
He left the stage shortly after and came back to call out The Daily Beast’s Contributing Editor Justin Baragona for tweeting about his outburst about not leaving the stage, suddenly claiming it had never occurred.
“Do you remember me saying that? Does anybody remember me saying that now?!” Mr Lindell said.
A lot of the audience had left by day two of the three-day event.
Judge Nichols said in his written opinion that Mr Lindell and Ms Powell made their false claims that the voting machine company’s technology was used to rig the election “knowing that they were false or with reckless disregard for the truth”.
Referencing Mr Lindell’s claim that a spreadsheet he posted on Twitter was evidence former President Donald Trump actually won the election, Judge Nichols wrote that a sensible juror could conclude that Mr Lindell’s insisting on “the existence of a vast international conspiracy that is ignored by the government but proven by a spreadsheet on an internet blog is so inherently improbable that only a reckless man would believe it”.
Mr Lindell has claimed that Dominion was behind the “biggest crime ever committed in election history against our country and the world”.
Lawyers for Dominion voting systems told The Washington Post that they are “pleased to see this process moving forward to hold Mike Lindell, MyPillow, Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell, and Defending The Republic accountable”.
The Independent has reached out to Mr Lindell for comment.
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