Sep 22, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Judge: MyPillow CEO's rights were not violated when FBI seized his cellphone

Mike Lindell wearing a blue suit and red/blue tie smiles at a man in a cowboy hat with an American flag and a cross on the back. Lindell's suit has a cross pin on it.

Mike Lindell greets guests before the start of a speech by former President Trump at the Trump National Golf Club on June 13 in Bedminster, N.J. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

A court ruled that the FBI seizing MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell's cellphone did not violate his Constitutional rights.

Driving the news: Lindell's irritation over the government taking possession of his device "does not give rise to a constitutional claim, let alone a showing of a callous disregard for his constitutional rights," wrote Circuit Judge Ralph Erickson of the the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.

  • The seizure last year was part of a federal investigation into indicted Mesa County clerk Tina Peters over tampering with voting equipment in Colorado.
  • Lindell did not respond to a request for comment.
  • Lindell is an ally to former President Trump and major Republican donor. He has repeatedly pushed false claims about 2020 election fraud.

Catch up quick: Lindell had his phone taken in a Hardee's fast food restaurant in 2022 in Mankato, Minn. He had been trying to get it back since it was taken, per the court filing.

  • Lindell had requested the return of his phone, data seized from the government on it and an order precluding the government from taking further action with his phone.

Details: Erickson wrote that Lindell was filing litigation in an attempt to interfere with and, "at most, enjoin a criminal investigation and ultimately hamper any potential federal prosecution" in the election-related criminal probe.

  • The government "implemented its filter protocols to safeguard confidential, private and privileged materials on Lindell's phone," the judge wrote.
  • Lindell's phone was backed up five days prior to its seizure, per the court, allowing him access to the majority of the information on it.

Go deeper: MyPillow CEO says FBI seized his cellphone

Go deeper