WASHINGTON– MyPillow chief executive Mike Lindell said Tuesday that federal agents seized his cellphone and questioned him about a Colorado employee who was charged with what prosecutors say was a ‘deceptive scheme’ to violate the voting system technology used throughout the country.
Lindell was approached in the drive-thru of a Hardee fast food restaurant in Mankato, Minnesota, by multiple FBI agents, he said on his podcast, “The Lindell Report.” Officers asked him about Dominion Voting Systems, Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, and her connection to Doug Frank, an Ohio educator who claims voting machines were tampered with, he said. declared.
Officers then told Lindell they had a warrant to seize his cellphone and ordered him to turn it over, he said. On a video version of his podcast, Lindell posted a letter signed by an assistant U.S. attorney in Colorado stating that prosecutors were conducting a “formal criminal investigation into an alleged crime” and noted the use of a federal grand jury.
The circumstances of the investigation were unclear. The Justice Department did not immediately respond Tuesday night to a request for comment on the seizure or investigation.
“Without commenting on this specific case, I can confirm that the FBI was at this location executing a search warrant authorized by a federal judge,” FBI spokeswoman Vikki Migoya said in an email.
Federal prosecutors conducted a parallel investigation alongside local Colorado prosecutors who charged Peters with multiple offenses, including attempting to influence a public official, criminal impersonation and official misconduct. The Republican was elected in 2018 to oversee elections in Mesa County, Colorado. An assistant clerk, Belinda Knisley, was also charged in the case, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to two years probation.
For more than a year, Peters appeared on stage with supporters of former President Donald Trump who made false claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen. The charges against Peters and Knisley allege the two were involved in a “deceptive scheme designed to influence officials, breach security protocols, exceed authorized access to voting materials and trigger the possible distribution of confidential information to unauthorized persons”.
State election officials first became aware of a security breach in Mesa County in 2021 when a photo and video of confidential voting system passwords were posted on social media and a conservative website. Since each county in Colorado has unique state-administered passwords, officials identified them as belonging to Mesa County, a largely rural area on the border with Utah.
Peters appeared on stage in August 2021 at a “cybersymposium” hosted by Lindell, which sought to prove that voting machines had been tampered with and promised to reveal evidence at the event.
Although no evidence was provided, a copy of the Mesa County voting system hard drive was distributed and posted online, according to participants and state officials.
The copy included proprietary software developed by Dominion Voting Systems which is used by election offices across the country. Experts called the unauthorized posting serious, saying it provided a potential “practice environment” that would allow anyone to search for vulnerabilities that could be exploited in a future election.
Nearly two years after the 2020 election, no evidence has emerged to suggest widespread fraud or manipulation, while state-by-state reviews have confirmed results showing President Joe Biden won.
The Mesa County breach is just one of many breaches across the country that have concerned election security experts. Authorities are investigating whether unauthorized individuals were allowed access to voting systems in Georgia and Michigan.
Lindell said federal agents also questioned him about his first meeting with Frank, a math and science teacher from Ohio, who is part of a group of people who traveled across the United States to meet with community groups claiming to have evidence that the voting machines were rigged. in the 2020 elections.
In court records, prosecutors say Frank met with Peters and members of his staff in April 2021 in his office. During the meeting, Frank told Peters that the county’s election management system was vulnerable to outside interference and the group discussed concerns that the state was going to “wipe” the machines, according to court records.
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