MyPillow CEO says FBI seized his phone at Hardee’s
WASHINGTON (AP) – MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell said on Tuesday that federal agents confiscated his cell phone and questioned him about an employee in Colorado, which prosecutors say is used nationwide. The vote-in system was a “deceptive scheme” for breaking technology.
Lindell was approached by several FBI agents at Hardy’s fast food drive-thru in Mankato, Minnesota, he said on his “The Lindell Report” podcast. He said officers questioned him about his connection to the Dominion voting system, Mesa County employee Tina Peters, and Doug Frank, an Ohio teacher who claims voting machines were manipulated, said. said.
He said the officers told Lindell they had a warrant to confiscate his cell phone and ordered him to turn it on. In a video version of his podcast, Lindell posted a letter signed by a US assistant attorney in Colorado stating that prosecutors were conducting a “formal criminal investigation into an alleged crime” and noted the use of a grand jury. federal. .
“It’s not good for people who think these agencies are politicized,” former federal prosecutor Katie Cherkasky told NewsNation’s banfield Wednesday evening.
“Mike Lindell is (was) one of the most prominent supporters of electoral plagiarism. And for many, it’s about his First Amendment rights and his opinion that the elections were stolen. And he sounds very political. .
The circumstances of the investigation were unclear. The Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the kidnapping or investigation.
“Without commenting on this specific case, I can confirm that the FBI was executing a search warrant authorized by a federal judge in this position,” FBI spokeswoman Vicky Migoya said in an email.
Federal prosecutors are conducting a parallel investigation with local Colorado prosecutors who have accused Peters of various crimes, including attempting to influence a public official, criminal impersonation, and official misconduct. The Republican was elected to oversee elections in Mesa County, Colorado in 2018. A deputy director of the case, Belinda Nisley, was also charged, convicted and sentenced to two years of probation.
For more than a year, Peters appeared onstage alongside supporters of former President Donald Trump, who made false claims about the theft of the 2020 presidential election. The allegations against Peters and Nisley both involved a “deceptive scheme designed to influence the officials, violate security protocols, ignore authorized access to election material and accelerate the potential distribution of confidential information to unauthorized persons. ” was conceived ”.
State election officials first became aware of a security breach in Mesa County in 2021 when a confidential photo and video of the voting system’s passwords were posted on the networks. social and a conservative website. Because each Colorado county has unique state-created passwords, officials identified them as belonging to Mesa County, a largely rural area bordering Utah.
Peters appeared on stage in August 2021 in a “cybersymposium” hosted by Lindell, who tried to prove the voting machines had been tampered with and vowed to reveal evidence of the event.
Although no evidence was provided, a hard drive copy of the Mesa County voting system was distributed and posted online, according to attendees and state officials.
The copy included proprietary software developed by Dominion Voting Systems, used by polling offices across the country. Experts have described the unauthorized publication as serious, saying it provides a potential “practice environment” that would allow anyone to investigate vulnerabilities that could be exploited in future elections.
Almost two years after the 2020 election, no evidence has emerged to suggest widespread fraud or manipulation, while state-by-state reviews have confirmed results showing President Joe Biden as victorious.
The Mesa County violation is one of many across the country that have electoral security experts. Authorities are investigating whether unauthorized people have been allowed access to the voting systems in Georgia and Michigan.
Lindell said federal agents also questioned him about what happened when he first met Ohio math and science teacher Frank, who is part of a group of people traveling to the United States to meet. community groups. There are those who claim that the voting machines have been rigged. in the 2020 elections.
In court records, prosecutors say Frank met with Peters and his staff in his office in April 2021. During the meeting, Frank told Peters that the county’s election management system was vulnerable to outside interference and that the group discussed concerns it would “clean” the machines, according to state court records.
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