U.S. Supreme Court rejects Trump ally Lindell’s defamation case appeal

WASHINGTON, Oct 3 (Reuters) – Mike Lindell, a top ally of former President Donald Trump, faces a $1.3 billion lawsuit from Dominion Voting Systems Inc accusing him of defamation for pushing false allegations that his voting machines rigged the 2020 presidential election, with the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejecting his appeal.

Judges rejected an offer by Lindell and his company My Pillow Inc to immediately appeal a federal judge’s refusal to start the trial. A lower court also snubbed his efforts to quickly review the case, allowing litigation to continue.

Denver-based Dominion’s lawsuit against Lindell is one of several the company and a competitor, Smartmatic USA Inc, have filed against Trump allies and conservative media over false allegations that the presidential election of 2020 was stolen from Trump by widespread voter fraud.

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Dominion sued My Pillow, based in Lindell and Chaska, Minnesota, in 2021 in federal court in Washington, accusing him of making claims he knew were not supported by evidence. “But Lindell – a talented salesman and former professional card counter – sells lies to this day because lies sell pillows,” Dominion’s lawsuit said.

In August 2021, U.S. Judge Carl Nichols denied Lindell’s request to dismiss the case, finding that Dominion “duly alleged that Lindell made his claims knowing they were untrue or with a reckless disregard for the truth” .

Nichols added: “As a preliminary, a reasonable juror might conclude that the existence of a vast international conspiracy which is ignored by the government but proven by a spreadsheet on an Internet blog is so inherently improbable that only a reckless man would believe it.”

Lindell has sought to appeal that decision. But in January, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit dismissed it, noting that the case could be reconsidered after a “final judgment” from the trial court.

Lindell told the Supreme Court that the blocking of an immediate appeal “dooms any honest and tenacious critic of the administration of a public service to a monumentally exhausting and extremely expensive judicial process before an appeals court have the opportunity to decide whether a district court correctly applied the constitutional standard”.

A Minnesota federal judge in a separate case ruled Sept. 19 that Lindell faces a libel suit brought by London-based Smartmatic over his false accusations that he rigged the 2020 U.S. election against Trump and in favor of President Joe Biden. Read more

Lindell is also facing a federal investigation involving identity theft and a conspiracy to damage a secure computer connected to an alleged polling hardware security breach in Colorado. The equipment in question was supplied by Dominion. Read more

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Reporting by Andrew Chung; Editing by Will Dunham

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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