If MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell was trying to avoid a lawsuit, his “Absolute Proof” “documentary,” which aired on One America News and (briefly) on various online video platforms last week, probably didn’t help matters.
Though it’s mostly a rehash of Trump-adjacent conspiracy theories about the presidential election, Lindell’s nearly two-hour movie served as nightmare fuel for Trump fans who still believe the election was earnestly stolen. At the center of his claims are allegations that foreign governments, state elections officials, and voting machine companies worked in concert to make Joe Biden president through large-scale election fraud.
“Donald Trump got so many more millions of votes that they didn’t expect, so they had to go recalibrate,” Lindell said in the documentary. “That’s why all these states shut down.”
The video aired several times on OAN between Friday and Sunday, and was briefly posted to YouTube and Vimeo before both sites took it down.
Dominion Voting Systems is one of those voting machine companies, and it has filed multibillion-dollar defamation lawsuits against Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, who both worked on Trump’s election legal team and alleged the company was complicit in a conspiracy to steal the election. On Sunday, a spokesperson from Dominion strongly implied Lindell could soon join them.
“Mike Lindell is begging to be sued, and at some point, we may well oblige him,” Dominion spokesperson Michael Steel, a former spokesperson for Jeb Bush, Paul Ryan, and John Boehner, told CNN. The company has already begun laying the groundwork for a potential suit: Last week, Dominion sent a letter to YouTube asking that the video platform “preserve and retain” videos and posts from Lindell, Trump’s campaign, OAN, and others “relating in any way to Dominion or the disinformation campaign” against the company.
In an appearance Saturday on former White House adviser Steve Bannon’s podcast, Lindell threatened to sue Dominion and Smartmatic, another voting machine technology company, if they don’t meet with him to discuss his theories about how they committed massive election fraud.
“I just decided, I got an epiphany, if Dominion doesn’t agree to meet, I am going to spend all day today finding out how I can sue them and I will go after them,” Lindell said. “I will go after them, if there is a way to do it, I will do that for the American people.”
Steel laughed at the suggestion. “I think he's trying to get ahead of the fact that he's spreading disinformation, spreading lies,” he told CNN. “This latest ‘documentary’ that he aired is nothing but the same old half-baked conspiracy theories repackaged, and the truth is catching up with him.”
A person familiar with Dominion’s legal strategy told VICE News last week that the company plans to sue Lindell, but is prioritizing other legal battles first.
While Lindell seems to be plunging himself even further into liability, other people and companies are trying to get as far away from legal trouble as possible, albeit in the most ham-fisted way possible. Before airing Lindell’s movie, OAN ran a disclaimer distancing itself from the content and describing it more like a paid advertisement.
Dominion lawyer Tom Clare said the disclaimer “definitely does not relieve OAN of legal liability.”
“To the contrary, we warned them specifically and in writing that they would be broadcasting false and defamatory statements of fact if they broadcast the program, and they made the affirmative decision to disregarded [sic] that warning and broadcast it anyway,” Clare told Mother Jones.
On Friday, Fox Business unceremoniously cancelled right-wing host Lou Dobbs’ show, one day after he was named in Smartmatic’s $2.7 billion lawsuit along with Fox’s parent company, Fox News, Giuliani, Powell, and Dobbs’ fellow Fox hosts Maria Bartiromo and Jeanine Pirro.
Dobbs was Fox Business’s highest-rated show at the time of its cancellation. Though the 75-year-old Dobbs hasn’t been fired, he likely won’t appear on Fox networks again, the Los Angeles Times reported.