Mike Lindell Asks Federal Appeals Court to Help End Dominion Voting Defamation Lawsuit

MyPillow has launched a new legal bid to dismiss the $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit that Dominion Voting Systems filed over false claims of voter fraud CEO Mike Lindell made about the 2020 presidential election.

U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols ruled against motions to dismiss Dominion's suit against MyPillow, Lindell and pro-Trump lawyers Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani on August 11. On Tuesday, MyPillow lawyers filed a new motion asking the judge to allow an appeals court to consider its argument that Dominion is a "government entity" because it contracted with governments during the election, according to the National Law Journal.

The MyPillow lawyers asked Nichols to certify two legal questions for the appeals court to consider, maintaining that their arguments could lead to Dominion's suit being dismissed. Both questions were made under the assumption that Dominion's government contracts mean it will be legally considered part of the government.

The questions involve the 1964 U.S. Supreme Court case New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, which placed new restrictions on public officials suing for defamation. Following the ruling, officials and other public figures alleging defamation must show that statements were made with "actual malice," meaning that the "defendant knew that a statement was false or was reckless in deciding to publish the information without investigating whether it was accurate."

MyPillow Mike Lindell Dominion Lawsuit Donald Trump
MyPillow lawyers launched a new legal effort to get a $1.3 billion lawsuit from Dominion Voting Systems dismissed on Tuesday. MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, in the forefront, is pictured while attending a rally featuring former President Donald Trump in Cullman, Alabama on August 21, 2021. Chip Somodevilla/Getty

The first question that the lawyers asked the judge to certify for the appeals court involved whether a lawsuit should be dismissed if it "fails to allege any direct evidence of a statement or act that the defendant knew as false" and "relies only on circumstantial inferences to prove reckless disregard."

The second question asked whether motions to dismiss a defamation case launched by a public figure can be denied if the judge fails to take "judicial notice of material establishing a robust public debate on the issues set forth in the complaint."

"Dominion's complaint did not satisfy the most stringent actual malice requirement under New York Times v. Sullivan, which applies to a government actor operating in the context of a large public debate," the lawyers wrote in their motion. "The complaint fails to allege any personal statement or act by Michael Lindell showing that he knew his allegations concerning Dominion were false or that he recklessly disregarded the truth of his allegations."

"The robust public debate surrounding the subject of Lindell's statements affords him constitutional protection and bars any inference that he spoke with actual malice," they continued.

Despite Dominion's lawsuit, Lindell has continued to push false allegations that the company helped rig the election against former President Donald Trump. The MyPillow CEO held a "cyber symposium" earlier this month, promising that the event would include proof of his claims.

In addition to no reputable evidence of massive election fraud materializing at the symposium, Lindell's previous prediction that Trump would inexplicably be "reinstated" as president by August 14 after a "9-0" Supreme Court decision also failed to become reality.

Dominion Voting Systems declined Newsweek's request for comment.

Newsweek reached out to MyPillow for comment.

Update (8/26, 4:40 p.m.):This article has been updated to reflect that Dominion Voting Systems declined to comment.