Washington: Mike Lindell, a prominent ally of former U.S. President Donald Trump, has been ordered to pay $5 million to a man who debunked Lindell's false claims of election fraud, the plaintiff's law firm said on Thursday.
An arbitration panel ordered Lindell, the founder of pillow manufacturer My Pillow and a well-known election conspiracy theorist, to pay cyber expert Robert Zeidman after he won a contest Lindell hosted in Nevada in July 2021.
As part of that contest, Lindell gave technical experts what he described as evidence that the Chinese government had switched votes from Trump to President Joe Biden during the 2020 election, and Lindell offered to pay $5 million to anyone who disproved his theory.
The arbitration panel found Zeidman did in fact debunk his claims and that Lindell's interpretation of the contest rules had been "unreasonable." "The lawsuit and verdict mark another important moment in the ongoing proof that the 2020 election was legal and valid, and the role of cybersecurity in ensuring that integrity," Brian Glasser, Zeidman's attorney, said in a statement.
"Lindell's claim to have 2020 election data has been definitively disproved." Lindell could not immediately be reached for comment. He told The Washington Post, which first reported the decision, that he disagreed with the decision and that the matter "will be going to court." A significant portion of self-identified conservatives in the U.S. continue to falsely believe that the 2020 presidential election, which Trump lost, was marred by widespread fraud.
In 2021, Dominion Voting Systems, which just reached a $787.5 million settlement with Fox Corp and Fox News, sued Lindell for damages related to his vote-rigging claims.