On April 19th, MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell filed a suit accusing Dominion Voting Systems of violating his First Amendment rights for filing a $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit against him.
Filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, Lindell accuses Dominion of engaging in an “illegal campaign to punish and silence their critics.”
“Dominion’s purpose is to silence debate; to eliminate any challenge to the 2020 presidential election; and to cancel and destroy anyone who speaks out against Dominion’s work on behalf of the government in administering the election,” the complaint reads.
See also: Are Defamation Lawsuits Being Used to Rein in Disinformation Spread by News Outlets?
Dominion sued Lindell for defamation in February, saying that Lindell intentionally promoted false claims on social media, cable news, and pro-Trump rallies about Dominion’s voting machines.
Dominion also filed separate defamation suits against former Trump attorneys Rudy Guiliani and Sidney Powell over their claims that the voting technology company rigged the 2020 election. In March, Powell filed a motion to have the suit dismissed on the grounds that a “reasonable [person] would not accept such statements as fact”.
Lindell, on the other hand, insists that his previous statements were factually correct. “Mr. Lindell knew all his statements regarding Dominion to be true when he made them and continues to know them to be true today,” the complaint states.
The complaint also contends that since Dominion administers election services on behalf of jurisdictions across the U.S. it should be considered a “governmental actor,” and as such, its actions have a chilling effect on speech.
“In its capacity as—and using its authority as—a governmental actor, Dominion allowed manipulation or changing of votes in the 2020 election, as well as suppressed public debate about the election which deprived MyPillow of its rights,” reads the suit.
In a statement, the lawyer for Dominion called Lindell’s suit “meritless” and “retaliatory,” and says it was filed to distract from the harm Lindell has caused the company.