‘A concern that must not be ignored’: MyPillow CEO asks SCOTUS to give him his phone back


Mike Lindell visits the White House

MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell waits outside the West Wing of the White House before entering on Jan. 15, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

The MyPillow CEO whose cell phone was memorably seized by the FBI in a Hardee’s drive-thru while on the way back from a duck hunting trip in 2022 has since taken his so far losing efforts for the device’s return to the Supreme Court of the United States.

Mike Lindell recently teased that a “huge case” was heading to SCOTUS and he boldly predicted that case would end 9-0 in his favor, just as the justices recently ruled 9-0 to keep Donald Trump on the ballot.

At the time Lindell made the comments, it was not clear if he was referring to a case involving his phone or another case. It’s now more likely, based on the timeline, that he was talking about a case connected to U.S. Senate candidate Kari Lake, R-Ariz., and her failed quest to eradicate voting machines. Lindell reportedly told Steve Bannon as recently as last weekend that by Friday at 3 p.m. the “biggest thing ever” would by announced on SCOTUS’ steps, claiming “This isn’t just some tinfoil hat case” about voting machines.

Either way, Lindell has, in fact, also filed a petition of a writ of certiorari regarding his phone.

The petition, filed on Feb. 26, did not inspire the Biden administration to immediately weigh in, the docket shows. There, on March 13, U.S. Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar expressly waived the right to respond “unless requested to do so” by SCOTUS.

The Lindell petition began by characterizing him as someone persecuted by the government for simply asking questions about election integrity and voting machines.

“This case involves an effort by the Government to identify and retaliate against those who persist in questioning the integrity of computerized voting systems, particularly those used in the 2020 election. In this case, the Government has abused its powers in pursuing its objectives of identifying the individuals involved in challenging election outcomes and the strategies and tactics they employ by reviewing the electronically stored data on Lindell’s seized cell phone containing privileged communications among individuals, including Lindell, who have associated for the common purpose of protecting election integrity,” the petition said. “Even more disturbing, federal courts have disregarded numerous controlling precedents in approving the Government’s actions against Lindell and his associates, which he contends have violated his First and Fourth Amendment rights.”

Railing against “lawfare” and the “weaponization of the judicial process,” Lindell asked the justices to “arrest this devolution of the rule of law by administering a course correction.”

He asked the high court to answer these two questions:

1. Whether a preliminary injunction may be granted if it requests the ultimate relief sought in the litigation.
2. Whether a warrant is invalid for failure to comply with the particularity requirement of the Fourth Amendment where the warrant authorizes the seizure of all electronic data stored on a cell phone without particularly describing the data to be seized.

Recall that after Lindell’s phone was seized by the FBI, pursuant to an identity theft, intentional damage to a protected computer, and conspiracy warrant, the government revealed that the pillow salesman and former Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, since indicted at the state level in Colorado, were “subjects” of the federal probe.

Lindell, with the help of attorney Alan Dershowitz, responded by suing U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, but that was a losing effort in the district court.

Arguments in favor of the phone’s return also fell flat with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, as a panel of judges each appointed by Republican presidents found that the seizure of the device amounted neither to a constitutional claim nor “a showing of a callous disregard for his constitutional rights.” The panel, noting that Lindell himself “acknowledged in a sworn declaration that his phone had been backed up five days prior to its seizure,” concluded that “irritation as to where and how the government took possession of his cell phone does not give rise to a constitutional claim.”

Now Lindell, even as he and his company face billion-dollar defamation lawsuits by Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic over his insistence that they played a role in stealing the 2020 election from Trump, is imploring SCOTUS to settle the phone dispute once and for all.

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *