Mike Lindell, the well-known pillow salesman who gained notoriety for his unfounded conspiracy theories about the 2020 presidential election, has found himself on the hook for $5 million after his ‘Prove Mike Wrong Challenge’ was debunked by computer forensics specialist Robert Zeidman.
In August 2021, Lindell confidently claimed on the Glazov Gang show that he had irrefutable data proving that China had interfered with the election of President Joe Biden.
To back up his claim, he offered a $5 million prize to anyone who could debunk his theory. Lindell boasted, “There’s a $5 million prize for anybody that can prove the election data that I have from the 2020 election was false, is not from the 2020 election.”
Lindell claimed that the data he possessed were “packet captures,” a type of film used to archive internet traffic.
He insisted that these captures were captured in real-time and preserved, making them 100 percent evidence of China’s alleged attack on the election.
The challenge, dubbed the ‘Prove Mike Wrong Challenge,’ drew attention from various quarters.
Computer forensics specialist Robert Zeidman, a supporter of former President Donald Trump, took up the challenge and carefully examined the data provided by Lindell.
However, Zeidman’s 15-page report revealed that the data did not include the packet data that Lindell had touted. In fact, Zeidman concluded that Lindell’s data provided no proof of voter fraud or interference in the 2020 election.
Despite Zeidman’s findings, Lindell refused to pay the $5 million prize, sparking a legal battle that ended in private arbitration proceedings in Minnesota.
After a three-day court hearing, arbitrators unanimously agreed that Zeidman had effectively debunked Lindell’s claims, stating that the material “unequivocally did not reflect November 2020 election data.”
Upon learning that there was no evidence of election interference from China, Zeidman told The Washington Post, “[The arbitrators] clearly saw this as I did – that the data we were given at the symposium was not all that Mr. Lindell said it was.”
In response, Lindell expressed his dissatisfaction with the arbitrators’ decision, vowing to take the matter to court. He claimed, “They made a terribly wrong decision! This will be going to court!” Lindell further stated to Rolling Stone, “It will end up in court. Just another attack to try and stop us from getting rid of the electronic voting machines.”
This is not the first time Lindell has faced legal consequences for his election conspiracy theories.
In April 2022, he was sued for defamation by a former Dominion Voting employee, citing false claims Lindell made on several media outlets, including Fox News, about the alleged “fix” of the 2020 election.
The defamation lawsuit resulted in a hefty settlement of $787.5 million (£632.7 million) against Lindell.
Lindell’s unwavering commitment to his baseless conspiracy theories and refusal to accept the debunking of his claims have landed him in legal trouble and caused him to pay a hefty sum of money.
Despite the evidence against his assertions, Lindell continues to double down on his beliefs, vowing to fight in court and further perpetuate his unfounded claims about the 2020 presidential election.