Judge: MyPillow CEO Counter-Suits Dismissed, Pay Smartmatic Fees
By: Azmi Haroun (Insider)
MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell walks on the hallway at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando, Florida, U.S. February 25, 2022. REUTERS/Octavio Jones
- A federal judge dealt a win to Smartmatic and Dominion Voting Systems against Mike Lindell.
- The judge ordered Mike Lindell to pay legal fees for Smartmatic's case against him so far.
- Lindell told Insider he'll appeal the ruling. "We're focused on getting rid of the machines," he said.
A federal judge ordered MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell to pay part of Smartmatic's legal fees in the voting company's defamation lawsuit against him, also dismissing counter-suits Lindell had filed against Smartmatic and Dominion Voting Systems.
In the Friday ruling, U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols said that because of "frivolous" and "groundless," claims, his counter-suits could be dismissed, and his lawyers would also be sanctioned.
"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)," Nichols wrote, according to the ruling. "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."
In the counterclaims, filed against Smartmatic, Dominion Voting Systems, and Hamilton Place, Lindell repeated election lies and alleged in filings that Smartmatic and Dominion were owned by Chinese nationals, and that they destroyed his reputation and financial standing with the help of a PR firm.
"This was the biggest crime family, probably bigger than the mafia crime family," Lindell told Insider in a March interview. "They were part of the biggest crime in human history, period. That's where we're at."
Lindell stood by his claims in a call with Insider Friday.
"This case is not frivolous, and it never was," he said. "We're focused on getting rid of the machines."
When asked if his team would appeal the decisions, he said, "Of course, 100% we'll appeal."
Smartmatic filed their defamation lawsuit against Lindell in January, calling him "crazy like a fox." The company is asking for undisclosed damages and for the Trump ally to refute election claims he made about Smartmatic and Dominion. Dominion Voting Systems has also filed a defamation suit against Lindell for $1.3 billion, which Lindell has failed to get dismissed too.
Smartmatic's counsel asked the judge for sanctions against his lawyers early in the case, arguing that they were openly trafficking the election lies. In the case, Smartmatic's lawyers have also accused Lindell of not cooperating with the discovery process and holding on to documents.
"There's no legal precedent for the claims that are being brought," Smartmatic's attorney J. Erik Connolly told Insider in March. "I understand that someone can throw a lot of spaghetti on the wall. But that doesn't provide you a factual or a legal predicate for a claim."
Smartmatic's attorneys did not immediately return Insider's request for comment.
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