My Pillow CEO Michael Lindell is seen outside the door of the West Wing at the White House on Friday, Jan 15, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Jabin Botsford | The Washington Post | Getty Images
MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, an ally of former President Donald Trump, said his phone records have been subpoenaed by the House committee investigating the origins of the deadly riot that took place on Jan. 6.
The revelation came after CNBC reported last month that Lindell has spent $25 million since Election Day 2020 to push false claims of election fraud.
“I wasn’t there on January 6th and yes they did subpoena my phone records but we filed a complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief against the January 6th committee and Verizon to completely invalidate this corrupt subpoena,” Lindell said in a text message to CNBC on Wednesday, the eve of the one-year anniversary of the attack on the Capitol.
Hundreds of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol as Congress was working to confirm Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election. Then-President Trump, who has repeatedly pushed false claims about the election being rigged against him, urged the crowd to march to Capitol Hill following a rally he headlined that day.
Lindell told CNBC in a later phone interview that he filed the legal complaint Wednesday in federal court in Minneapolis. He said he received a notice from Verizon about the subpoena no more than 10 days ago and that he was informed the committee wanted his phone records from November through early January.
A representative for the House committee declined to comment. Verizon press representatives did not return a request for comment.
Lindell is the latest Trump ally who is trying to use the legal system to block the release of his phone records. Former Trump national security advisor Mike Flynn, who was previously pardoned by the then-commander-in-chief after pleading guilty to federal charges, sued the committee after it subpoenaed his records. Former White House advisor Sebastian Gorka also filed a lawsuit in a similar effort.
Trump himself has continued to publicly push the baseless idea that there was some form of extensive fraud that swayed the election toward Biden. On Jan. 6, Trump declared some of the same false claims about the election at rally with his supporters in front of the White House. His supporters then marched on the Capitol while Congress was trying to certify Biden’s electoral college victories.
Multiple federal and state officials, including Trump’s former Attorney General William Barr, have said that there was no such widespread voter fraud.
Though Lindell has continued to say he had nothing to do with that took place on Jan. 6, he was said to be at various pro-Trump events in the days leading up to the insurrection.
Multiple people have claimed that Lindell met at the Trump International Hotel in Washington D.C. on Jan. 5, alongside other Trump allies, including former advisor Peter Navarro, attorney Rudy Giuliani and Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., to discuss election-related matters.
Lindell told CNBC on Wednesday that he was never at that meeting. He said he stayed at the hotel before he went to a gathering in Virginia.
Daniel Beck, the CEO of Idaho-based Txtwire, described a gathering on a Facebook post published the day before the riot.
“Fifteen of us spent the evening with Donald Trump Jr., Kimberly Guilfoyle, Tommy Tuberville, Michael J. Lindell, Peter Navarro, and Rudy Giuliani. We talked about the elections, illegal votes, court cases, the republics’ status, what to expect on the hill tomorrow. TRUMP WILL RETAIN THE PRESIDENCY!!!,” the post reads.
Charles Herbster, a Republican candidate running to be the next governor of Nebraska, also placed Lindell with the same group on Jan. 5 at the Trump hotel.
Lindell was pictured leaving the White House days after the attack on the Capitol. The papers carried by Lindell partially read “martial law if necessary.”
He was also involved with rallies organized by Women for American First, a pro-Trump nonprofit group who helped put together the rally that proceeded the riot at the Capitol.
MyPillow paid $100,000 to the organization for a sponsorship ad on the group’s bus, which traveled to various pro-Trump rallies across the country from November 2020 until mid-December that year. Pictures of the Women for America First bus show the MyPillow sign on the side of the vehicle. That group later organized what it called a “caravan” to Washington on Jan. 5.
The Jan. 6 committee has subpoenaed leaders of the group, including Cynthia Chafian, who submitted the first permit application on behalf of Women for America First, and Amy Kremer and Kylie Jane Kremer, who are considered the group’s founders.
The bus tour was called “March for Trump,” and it went several places including Iowa, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C., in December. Many of the speakers at the stops made unsubstantiated claims about the election, such as that the vote was “stolen” and that the election was an act of “treason.”
Lindell told the December crowd in Washington that he was in touch with Trump’s legal advisors, such as Sidney Powell, after the election.
“I talked to Sidney Powell last night and she put, right now it’s in the Supreme Court, Wisconsin, Michigan, Arizona and Georgia and that’s the real lawsuits. That the stuff that Texas had was not the one that we were all working on,” Lindell told the crowd.
Voting machine company Dominion Voting Systems sued Lindell for $1.3 billion earlier last year, accusing him of pushing false conspiracies about the 2020 election “because the lie sells pillows.” MyPillow later filed a $1.6 billion countersuit against Dominion.