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MyPillow is suing Dominion Voting Systems for $1.6 billion, the pillow company’s CEO Mike Lindell announced Monday.
Lindell announced the new lawsuit in a livestream on his social-media site, Frank, and seperately filed a motion to dismiss the $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit Dominion brought against both MyPillow and Lindell in February.
“This is all about the First Amendment rights and free speech,” Lindell said.
The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Minnesota, claims Dominion is trying to stifle free speech and engaging in “cancel culture” against those who question it.
The suit distinguishes between MyPillow and Lindell, arguing that the CEO was speaking on his own behalf when alleging election fraud, as The Wall Street Journal first reported.
MyPillow said in the lawsuit that “in making these statements, Lindell spoke for himself, not MyPillow,” adding that “MyPillow has not engaged in discussion about the 2020 election.”
The lawsuit accuses Dominion of engaging in “lawfare” by aggressively using the legal system to attack its critics, who have falsely argued that the election technology company manipulated the 2020 election.
“Lawfare is the use of the legal system as part of wrongful scheme to attack another person and inflict extra-judicial harm upon them,” the lawsuit says. “Here, Dominion’s scheme is wrongful because Dominion’s purpose is to punish and deter important constitutionally-protected activity–free expression about a matter of public concern.”
Alan Dershowitz, a lawyer representing Lindell, discussed the lawsuit alongside Lindell during the livestream on Monday.
“I’ve been defending the First Amendment for 60 years, and I’m not going to stop now,” Dershowitz said.
Dominion’s counsel, Stephen Shackelford, a partner at Susman Godfrey LLP, told Insider, “This is a meritless retaliatory lawsuit, filed by MyPillow to try to distract from the harm it caused to Dominion.”
Dominion sued Lindell, Powell, Giuliani, and Fox News
On February 22, Dominion filed a defamation suit against Lindell after filing similar ones against the pro-Trump attorney Sidney Powell, Trump’s former lawyer Rudy Giuliani, and Fox News.
Dominion’s lawsuit accused Lindell of repeatedly making false allegations while knowing there was no credible evidence to support his claims.
Lindell used his social-media profiles — as well as rallies, interviews, and a two-hour movie — to spread his baseless claims of voter fraud and accuse Dominion of building its machines “to cheat.”
Lindell previously told Insider that he thought Dominion had a “zero, zero, zero” chance of winning. The lawsuits were part of cancel culture’s attempts at silencing voices, he said.
“I looked at it as a great day for America when they sued me,” Lindell added. “I can put the evidence for the whole world to see, and it’ll be public record, and the media will quit trying to suppress it.”
More than 20 retailers have severed ties with MyPillow
In its lawsuit, Dominion said Lindell had used the claims as a way to ramp up his pillow sales, advertising on far-right media outlets that parroted his claims and sponsoring a bus tour that sought to overturn the election result.
But Lindell’s lawsuit said Dominion had caused “grave harm” to MyPillow “as a result of Dominion’s suppression of speech and attacks on the Company.”
More than 20 retailers have cut ties with MyPillow following the insurrection at the Capitol in January and Lindell’s insistence that the election result was fraudulent.
“Fearing retribution in the marketplace, many of MyPillow’s commercial suppliers and buyers have as a direct result of Dominion’s crusade terminated longstanding relationships with MyPillow which were projected to grow,” Lindell’s lawsuit claims.
Bed Bath and Beyond, Sam’s Club, Kohl’s, and, most recently, Costco are among those to have stopped selling MyPillow’s products.
Some of the companies cited poor sales, but Lindell blamed it on “cancel culture” and described people saying they would boycott the brand as “bots and trolls.”
Lindell had told Insider that lost retailer revenue would cost the company about $65 million this year. He added during his livestream on Monday that MyPillow had 2,500 employees, many of whom had stock in the company.
But Lindell said that this wasn’t the main reason for his lawsuit.
“It’s not about the money,” he said. “It’s about our First Amendment rights.”
In January, Twitter barred Lindell for sharing voter-fraud conspiracy theories on the site. It suspended MyPillow’s account after Lindell used it to evade his personal ban and accused Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey of being “tied into the election fraud.”
Lindell said he has spent millions building his own social-media site. Frank has the tagline “the voice of free speech,” and he has said that he would use the site to share voter-fraud evidence.
Lindell said in mid-March that he hadn’t been back to his home in Minnesota for two months and had been moving among “undisclosed locations” because he feared for his safety.
This article has been updated.