On Tuesday, MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell stated that federal investigators had taken his phone and questioned him about a Colorado clerk who is accused of participating in a “deceptive plot” to hack into voting systems around the country.
According to “The Lindell Report” podcast, Lindell was approached by multiple FBI agents while in the drive-thru at a Hardee’s in Mankato, Minnesota. Dominion Voting Systems, Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, and his relationship to Ohio educator Doug Frank, who alleges voting machines have been rigged, were all topics of inquiry, he said.
Lindell claimed the agents then presented a warrant authorizing the seizure of his phone and demanded possession of it. Lindell presented a letter signed by an assistant U.S. attorney in Colorado on the video version of his podcast, which stated that federal prosecutors were conducting a “official criminal investigation into a potential offense” and that they were doing it with the assistance of a federal grand jury.
It wasn’t apparent what led to the probe. A request for comment from Tuesday night was not met with an instant response from the Justice Department either the seizure or the inquiry.
FBI spokesperson Vikki Migoya stated in an email, “Without commenting on this specific subject, I can confirm that the FBI was at that location executing a search warrant authorized by a federal judge.”
Peters has been charged with multiple crimes, including official misconduct, impersonating an official in a public capacity, and attempting to influence a public servant, all of which have been investigated by both federal and county prosecutors in Colorado. In 2018, the Republican was chosen to serve as the elections supervisor for Mesa County, Colorado. Belinda Knisley, the deputy clerk who was also accused and who pleaded guilty, received two years ‘ probation.
Peters has been sharing the platform with Trump fans for almost a year now, all of whom are spreading bogus rumors about a stolen presidential election in 2020. Peters and Knisley are accused of participating in a “deceptive conspiracy” to mislead public workers, break security standards, get unauthorized access to voting equipment, and eventually distribute secret information to unauthorized parties.
In 2021, a photo and video of private voting system credentials were shared on social media and a conservative website, alerting state election officials to a security breach in Mesa County. Officials were able to determine that they were from Mesa County, a rural region of Colorado near the Utah border thanks to the state’s system of individually generated passwords for each county.
In August 2021, Peters made an appearance at a “cybersymposium” hosted by Lindell, who claimed to have evidence of voting machine manipulation and intended to expose it live on stage.
Attendees and state officials claimed that a copy of Mesa County’s voting system hard drive was distributed and posted online, but no proof was offered.
Dominion Voting Systems’ proprietary software, utilized by election officials all around the country, was included in the copy. According to experts, the illegal leak is quite concerning since it creates a “practice environment” where attackers may test out exploits that could be used in a real election.
In the nearly two years since the 2020 election, no evidence has surfaced suggesting massive fraud or manipulation, and assessments in state after state have affirmed the results showing President Joe Biden won.
Experts in the field of election security are worried because of incidents like the one in Mesa County, and similar ones, that have occurred across the country. In both Georgia and Michigan, officials are looking into whether or not unauthorized individuals gained access to voting systems.
Lindell claimed the federal agents asked him when he first met Frank, an Ohio math and science teacher who is part of a group that has been touring the United States, meeting with community organizations and claiming to have evidence that voting machines were rigged in the 2020 election.
Prosecutors claim that in April of 2021, Frank met with Peters and her employees in her office. Frank allegedly warned Peters in a meeting that the county’s election management system was open to hacking, and that there was danger that the state would “wipe” the machines.