COURTS & LEGAL

Supreme Court won’t hear Mike Lindell’s challenge over FBI seizure of cellphone

Apr 16, 2024, 5:16 PM

FILE - MyPillow chief executive Mike Lindell talks to reporters at the Republican National Committe...

FILE - MyPillow chief executive Mike Lindell talks to reporters at the Republican National Committee winter meeting in Dana Point, Calif., Friday, Jan. 27, 2023. An arbitration panel has ordered Lindell to pay $5 million to a software engineer for breach of contract in a dispute over data that Lindell claims proves that China interfered in the U.S. 2020 elections and tipped the outcome to Joe Biden. But Lindell told The Associated Press, Thursday, April 20, 2023, that he has no intention of paying and that he expects the dispute to land in court. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court has denied a petition by MyPillow founder and election denier Mike Lindell to consider his challenge to the legality of the FBI’s seizure of his cellphone at a restaurant drive-through.

The high court, without comment Monday, declined to reconsider three lower court rulings that went against Lindell, a prominent promoter of false claims that voting machines were manipulated to steal the 2020 presidential election from President Donald Trump.

FBI agents seized the cellphone from him at a Hardee’s fast-food restaurant in the southern Minnesota city of Mankato in 2022 as part of an investigation into an alleged scheme to breach voting system technology in Mesa County, Colorado. Lindell alleged the confiscation violated his constitutional rights against unlawful search and seizure and was an attempt by the government to chill his freedom of speech.

The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed.

“While he has at times attempted to assert otherwise, Lindell’s objective in this action is apparent — this litigation is a tactic to, at a minimum, interfere with and, at most, enjoin a criminal investigation and ultimately hamper any potential federal prosecution,” a three-judge appeals panel wrote last September.

In February, when Lindell turned to the Supreme Court, his attorneys said Lindell had still not gotten his phone back.

Monday’s decision was the latest in a run of legal and financial setbacks for Lindell, who is being sued for defamation by two voting machine companies. Lawyers who were originally defending him in those cases quit over unpaid bills.

A credit crunch last year disrupted cash flow at MyPillow after it lost Fox News as one of its major advertising platforms and was dropped by several national retailers. A judge in February affirmed a $5 million arbitration award to a software engineer who challenged data Lindell said proves China interfered in the 2020 election.

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Supreme Court won’t hear Mike Lindell’s challenge over FBI seizure of cellphone