On Tuesday, a federal judge ruled longtime Trump defender and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell must a defamation lawsuit brought by voting company Smartmatic.
U.S. District Judge Wilhelmina Wright denied Lindell’s motion to dismiss Smartmatic’s case against him after the company sued the businessman for defamation after spreading false claims the company rigged the 2020 presidential election for Democrat Joe Biden, according to MSN.
“Construing the facts in the light most favorable to Smartmatic, the Court concludes that Smartmatic has alleged facts sufficient to suggest that Lindell knew or should have known that his statements were false and acted with actual malice in promoting the challenged statements,” Wright wrote.
The judge also found that Smartmatic made a plausible case that Lindell harmed its reputation.
“Smartmatic also alleges that, as a result of Lindell’s defamatory remarks, Smartmatic’s officers and employees have been threatened and the company has expended over one million dollars on public relations, crisis management, cybersecurity, and employee retention and recruitment efforts. Smartmatic alleges that its business depends on its reputation for safety, accuracy and auditability, and that Lindell’s defamatory statements have tarnished Smartmatic’s reputation,” the order notes.
“Smartmatic also alleges that Lindell made and promoted his defamatory statements for his own profit,” Wright, wrote in her ruling. “For example, Smartmatic alleges that on several occasions Lindell told audiences to purchase MyPillow products after making claims of election fraud and supplying audiences with MyPillow promotional codes related to Lindell’s election-hacking theories.”
MyPillow argued that it couldn’t be held liable for Lindell’s statements however the judge also shot down that argument.
“Lindell, the CEO of MyPillow, intentionally promoted MyPillow while allegedly defaming Smartmatic in media and other public appearances,” the order states. “Lindell used the MyPillow logo during media appearances in which he allegedly defamed Smartmatic. During these appearances, Lindell promoted the MyPillow business and provided audiences with promotional codes to use when buying MyPillow products. The MyPillow promotional codes Lindell relayed to audiences used words and phrases that correlated to Lindell’s allegedly defamatory statements.”
Lindell is also facing a similar lawsuit from a separate voting machine company, Dominion Voting Systems.