Idaho officials tell MyPillow CEO to stop false voter claims
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho officials have sent MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell a cease-and-desist letter and a bill of more than $6,000 over the businessman’s repeated accusations of voter fraud in the state.
Secretary of State Lawerence Denney and Attorney General Lawrence Wasden sent the cease-and-desist letter to Lindell on Tuesday, the Idaho Statesman reported. The letter demands Lindell “promptly remove all false statements about Idaho’s elections from your website” and “refrain from making similar statements in the future.”
Denney and Wasden also want Lindell to pay the state for the $6,558.83 it spent proving Lindell’s allegations wrong.
“Despite knowing your statements about Idaho’s elections are false, you have not removed your ‘Big Lie’ chart and continue to perpetuate your false statements,” the letter stated.
The Idaho Statesman reached out to Lindell by email but received no response as of Wednesday evening.
Former President Donald Trump alleged that the election was “stolen” after he lost to President Joe Biden. But those allegations have been repeatedly discredited, and courtrooms, state governments and Congress have all affirmed that Trump was legitimately defeated. Still, Trump allies including Lindell continue to repeat the false claims and related conspiracy theories.
Lindell promoted the lies in part with a two-week bus tour and a three-day symposium last year where he promised to present “irrefutable” evidence the 2020 election was stolen from Trump by hackers. The event, rife with debunked conspiracy theories, produced no such proof.
Denny and Wasden take issue with a section of Lindell’s website that states all 44 counties of Idaho participated in election fraud in 2020. The Idaho officials note that seven of Idaho’s counties that Lindell claimed were subject to electronic manipulation do not use electronic voting.
Idaho’s official election results show that 63.8% of votes went to former President Donald Trump. But Lindell, in a document titled “The Big Lie,” alleged that presidential election results across the state were electronically manipulated to switch 35,357 votes from Trump to Joe Biden.
In response to Lindell’s widely circulated document, the Idaho government conducted an election audit. It chose three counties, Butte, Camas and Bonner, to see if Lindell’s claims had merit. The investigation found a 0.1% margin of error — well below the manipulation that Lindell claimed.
“Those false statements injure Secretary Denney’s reputation and subjected him to public threats, criticism and ridicule,” the letter said. “Your false statements caused the same harm to the honest and hardworking civil servants and volunteers that supported the election process in Idaho.”
Chief Deputy Secretary of State Chad Houck told the Idaho Statesman those threats came to Denney and other Idaho election officials through postal service, email, phone calls and in-person confrontations. Lindell supporters targeted their family members and extended office staff, he said.
“There have been people that have called in and yelled at our receptionists, at our election staff, wanting to know how we could attack a patriot like Mike Lindell,” Houck said in a phone interview.
Scott Graf, spokesperson for the attorney general’s office, declined to comment on how long government officials planned to give Lindell to respond to the letter and what they would do if he did not comply.