WASHINGTON ― The pillow magnate who brought the idea of “martial law” to Donald Trump’s White House in the days after the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol and who later promised Trump’s “reinstatement” in August is now planning an election-fraud marathon over the busiest shopping days of the year.
Mike Lindell, a potential witness in the U.S. House select committee’s investigation of the Capitol riot, said that his 96-hour broadcast will coincide with his filing of a long-promised lawsuit directly with the U.S. Supreme Court that will “pull down” the 2020 election and will run from midnight of the Wednesday before Thanksgiving through midnight Sunday.
“We are going to show every single piece of evidence,” he said.
That period happens to coincide with “Black Friday” and the adjacent weekend ― typically the busiest shopping days of the holiday season, but Lindell said none of the programming would contain any advertising for his MyPillow line of products.
Lindell, who won easy access to Trump’s White House thanks to his repeated false claims that China had stolen the 2020 election from Trump by hacking all the voting machines, appears among the long list of Trump allies and staff of interest to the Jan. 6 committee.
In a section of the Aug. 25 letter from the select committee to the National Archives titled “Information Donald Trump Received Following the Election Regarding the Election Outcome, and What He Told the American People About the Election,” material to and from Lindell is among seven categories of records the committee has requested.
“From April 1, 2020, through January 20, 2021, all documents and communications relating to challenging the validity of the 2020 election, to, from, or mentioning Mike Lindell,” the request reads.
Lindell said he has not been contacted by the committee and “could care less” if the two-page letter he delivered to Trump on Jan. 15, nine days after the Trump-incited mob attacked the Capitol, is among the material turned over. “What does that have to do with me?” he said.
Lindell claimed he met with Trump primarily to give him four pages of “proof” that the election had been hacked by China but also handed over an envelope he said was given to him by two lawyers to give to Trump.
He declined to tell HuffPost the names of those lawyers. “None of your business. Are you out of your mind?” he said, adding that he doesn’t know what the letter contained. “It was given to me in confidence…. I had never read it. I had never looked at it.”
Lindell was photographed at the White House on Jan. 15 holding two sheets of folded paper, on one of which was written “martial law if necessary at the first hint of any” ― with neither the start nor the end of the sentence visible because of the fold.
Some of Trump’s allies, including his first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, had wanted Trump to use the military to seize voting machines in states he had narrowly lost to Biden, declare martial law and force those states to rerun the presidential election.
Lindell has been claiming from not long after Biden’s inauguration that his “proof” that the election had been stolen from Trump would lead the Supreme Court to overturn it after they saw it. Earlier this year, he claimed that would happen in August. When August came and went, he said it would likely happen by the end of 2021.
Now Lindell claims he will have “tons” of state attorneys general signing on to his lawsuit, but he refused to name any of them because they would face “attacks” from the news media.
“I’m not going to give you their names! Are you kidding?” he said, adding that all of them would sign the lawsuit together on Nov. 23, the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, just before filing it with the court at 9 a.m.
The Supreme Court, the top appeals court in the country, does not generally accept cases that have not been heard elsewhere, and Lindell did not explain why the justices would make an exception for him. “I really think they’re going to accept it 9-0,” he said. “It will require a new election across the board…. Declare the 2020 vote void and order new elections across the board.”
Lindell then ran through his frequently repeated falsehoods that China and other countries had intruded into election software and flipped a Trump victory in favor of Biden. “Donald Trump won Arizona by a quarter million votes,” he said. “This election was stole.”
When HuffPost asked how the paper ballot hand recount in Georgia that confirmed Biden’s win there was compatible with his computer hacking theory, Lindell grew angry and hung up.
Lindell this summer staged a “cyber symposium” where he promised to reveal his proof that the 2020 election had been hacked and said that the Supreme Court would be so moved by his revelations that it would quickly remove President Biden from office and return Trump to power. At the event, though, he claimed his data had been hacked and, because of that, he had to turn over the material to authorities and could not make it public.
Lindell had launched his Frank Speech website to showcase his symposium, but in the following weeks and months, he has used the cellphone numbers he collected from those who signed up to advertise his pillows, sheets, towels, slippers and other sleep-related items.
One text message last week, for example, told recipients to watch Lindell being interviewed on his webcast that evening and then finished with: “Standard MyPillows Reg $69.98 Sale $19.98 mypillow.com/FS66.”
Trump in January became the first president in 232 years of U.S. elections to refuse to turn over power peacefully to his successor.
He spent weeks attacking the legitimacy of the Nov. 3, 2020, contest he lost, starting his lies in the predawn hours of Nov. 4 that he had really won in a “landslide” and that his victory was being “stolen” from him. Those falsehoods continued through a long string of failed lawsuits challenging the results in a handful of states.
After the Electoral College finally voted on Dec. 14, making Biden’s win official, Trump turned to a last-ditch scheme to pressure his own vice president into canceling the ballots of millions of voters in several states Biden won and declaring Trump the winner during the pro forma congressional certification of the election results on Jan. 6.
Trump asked his followers to come to Washington that day and then told the tens of thousands who showed up to march on the Capitol to intimidate Mike Pence into doing what Trump wanted. “When you catch somebody in a fraud, you’re allowed to go by very different rules,” Trump said.
The mob of supporters he incited attempted to do his bidding by storming the building. They even chanted “Hang Mike Pence” after the vice president refused to comply with Trump’s demands.
A police officer died after being assaulted during the riot, and four other officers took their own lives in the days and weeks that followed. One of the rioters was fatally shot as she climbed through a broken window into an anteroom containing still-evacuating House members, and three others in the crowd died during the melee.
Though the House impeached Trump for inciting the attack, all but seven Senate Republicans, led by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, chose not to convict him ― thereby letting Trump continue his political career even as faces several investigations into his postelection actions.
Trump and his allies are now engaged in a campaign to portray the rioter who was shot, Ashli Babbitt, as a martyr and the hundreds of others who have been arrested as victims of political persecution. Trump himself continues to suggest he will run for the 2024 GOP nomination and is using his Save America committee’s money to continue spreading the same falsehoods that culminated in the violence of Jan. 6.