Idaho sends MyPillow CEO a cease and desist letter along with $6k bill. Here’s why
Sally Krutzig, Idaho Statesman
Published at | Updated at
BOISE (Idaho Statesman) — Three months after a state investigation disproved MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell’s accusations of voter fraud in Idaho, the information remains on Lindell’s website. Idaho government officials want it gone.
They also want Lindell to pay the state for the money it spent proving Lindell’s allegations wrong.
Secretary of State Lawerence Denney and Attorney General Lawrence Wasden sent a cease-and-desist letter to Lindell on Tuesday. They asked Lindell to “promptly remove all false statements about Idaho’s elections from your website” and “refrain from making similar statements in the future.”
“Despite knowing your statements about Idaho’s elections are false, you have not removed your ‘Big Lie’ chart and continue to perpetuate your false statements,” the letter stated.
Idaho is also coming for Lindell’s wallet. The letter requested he send $6,558.83 to the secretary of state’s office to cover the money it spent refuting his claims. The office first announced plans to seek payment in October.
The Idaho Statesman reached out to Lindell by email but received no response as of Wednesday evening.
Since Trump lost the 2020 election, there has perhaps been no voice besides Trump’s louder than Lindell’s when it comes to claims that the election was “stolen.”
The pillow seller built a website, sponsored a two-week bus tour and held pillow sales, all in an effort to promote the conspiracy theory. He launched a three-day “Cyber Symposium” last August that promised to present “irrefutable evidence” of China’s involvement in Biden’s victory. No evidence was ever produced.
And Lindell is showing no signs of stopping his crusade. Just last week he told Real America’s Voice, a far-right streaming service, that he has enough evidence to put more than 300 million people in prison for their involvement in the election. A Washington Post analysis said that comes to one out of every 26 people in the world. By that math, nearly 29,000 people in the Treasure Valley would be locked away.
Idaho isn’t the only one wanting to make Lindell up for his false statements. Voting machine company Smartmatic filed a defamation lawsuit against Lindell on Tuesday for asserting that the company’s machines were used for election fraud.
Denney and Wasden take issue to a section of Lindell’s website that still lists all 44 counties of Idaho as having participated in election fraud in 2020. They pointed out that seven of Idaho’s counties Lindell claimed were subject to electronic manipulation do not use electronic voting.
Lindell’s own “expert,” the letter notes, is shown elsewhere on the website saying he does not believe there was election fraud anywhere in Idaho except Ada County.
Idaho official results showed 63.8% of votes went to former President Donald J. Trump. But Lindell, in a document titled “The Big Lie,” alleged that presidential election results across the state were electronically manipulated to switch 35,357 votes from Trump to Joe Biden.
In response to Lindell’s widely circulated document, the Idaho government conducted an election audit. It chose three counties, Butte, Camas and Bonner, to see if Lindell’s claims had merit. The investigation found a 0.1% margin of error.
The letter said that is “well below the manipulation (Lindell) claimed.” The letter tells Lindell that his statements of fraud are “defamatory” toward Denney and those who work for him.
“Those false statements injure Secretary Denney’s reputation and subjected him to public threats, criticism and ridicule,” the letter said. “Your false statements caused the same harm to the honest and hardworking civil servants and volunteers that supported the election process in Idaho.”
Chief Deputy Secretary of State Chad Houck told the Idaho Statesman those threats came to Denney and other Idaho election officials through postal service, email, phone calls and in-person confrontations. Lindell supporters targeted their family members and extended office staff, he said.
“There have been people that have called in and yelled at our receptionists, at our election staff, wanting to know how we could attack a patriot like Mike Lindell,” Houck said in a phone interview.
Scott Graf, spokesperson for the attorney general’s office, declined to comment on how long government officials planned to give Lindell to respond to the letter and what they would do if he did not comply.