The Department of Justice, as led by President Joe Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland, will be in court Wednesday, Oct. 19, in what seems like another battle in a war against Trump loyalists. This time, the setting is a federal court in Minnesota, where the US government faces MyPillow founder and indefatigable supporter of Donald J. Trump, Mike Lindell. The entrepreneur demands the federal government return his phone and the data it contained when seized by the FBI on Sept. 13 at a Hardee’s restaurant in Mankato, MN.
Two Coffees and an Attorney, Please…
Lindell went duck hunting that day, leaving his residence around 4 a.m. to hunt in Iowa with a friend. On the way home, as he was pulling away from the Hardee’s drive-through, he was set upon by federal agents who converged on him with three unmarked vehicles. Lindell’s complaint says he feared for his and his friend’s life and prepared to ram their way out, until the figures identified themselves as FBI agents. After about a half hour of interrogation on several topics, including Dominion Voting Systems and Lindell’s website FrankSpeech.com, the officials seized his iPhone.
Reversal of Fortune?
Mr. Lindell’s complaint, authored by a team that includes Alan Dershowitz, says the FBI unlawfully tracked him without a warrant. It goes on to assert violations of Lindell’s First and Fourth Amendment rights, including via the warrant itself. The warrant gives the Biden/Garland administration “several years of data that includes communications with individuals who have no connection to any possible violation of the criminal statutes that are the justification for the Warrant.” These include attorney-client communications and other privileged conversations.
Agents tried to prevent Lindell from calling his attorney at the Hardee’s, but he eventually did so. He claims to run five businesses from the device seized and does not use a different computer. He asked agents if he could back up his phone to the cloud before its seizure and was denied. Lindell’s complaint says the FBI detention and questioning, absent a reading of his Miranda rights, violated the Fourth and Fifth Amendments, and that the initial refusal to allow him to call his lawyer denied him his Sixth Amendment right to counsel.
Pillow Man Joins MAGA
Lindell developed his product and online sales website MyPillow.com after the idea for an open-cell poly foam pillow came to him in a dream in 2004. His company holds a patent for “a pillow having a variety of foam pieces, including foam pieces of different sizes and irregular shapes.” Not since the dawn of the infomercial and the Sobakawa buckwheat pillow had direct-to-consumer pillow sales seen such a boon. He uses infomercials to drive sales, and estimates suggest he has sold over 40 million MyPillows. Lindell said, “I first met Mr. Trump in August of 2016, during which we specifically spoke about everything made in America, bringing jobs back to the US and strategies for reviving the inner cities. I realized right then he would be the best president ever.” He has been a leading voice among Trump’s high-profile supporters ever since.
The lawsuit also names FBI Director Christopher Wray as a defendant. Eric Tostrud, a federal magistrate appointed by Donald Trump, earlier denied a request by Lindell to freeze any use or inspection of his data by the DOJ before Wednesday’s hearing.
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