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Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Dominion Voting Systems on Monday sued MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell for more than $1.3 billion in damages, alleging that the Trump ally exploited the baseless conspiracy theory that Dominion's voting machines rigged the election for Joe Biden so Lindell could sell more pillows.

The big picture: Lindell is the latest Trump ally to face a multibillion-dollar lawsuit from Dominion or Smartmatic, another voting machine company subjected to a campaign of false claims about the election.

  • Pro-Trump lawyers Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani have each been sued by Dominion for $1.3 billion in damages.
  • Earlier this month, Smartmatic sued Powell, Giuliani, Fox News and some of the network's top hosts for $2.7 billion. (Fox has since filed a motion to dismiss.)

Lindell, who received a cease-and-desist letter from Dominion in January, told Axios at the time: "I want Dominion to put up their lawsuit because we have 100% evidence that China and other countries used their machines to steal the election."

What they're saying: "Lindell’s statements have exposed Dominion to the most extreme hatred and contempt. Lindell himself called it the 'biggest crime ever committed in election history against our country and the world,'" Dominion wrote in its 115-page complaint.

  • "Acting in concert with allies and media outlets that were determined to curry favor with one of their biggest sponsors and to promote a false preconceived narrative about the 2020 election, Lindell launched a defamatory marketing campaign about Dominion that reached millions of people and caused enormous harm to Dominion."
  • "Through discovery, Dominion will prove that there is no real evidence supporting the Big Lie. Dominion brings this action to vindicate the company’s rights, to recover damages, to seek a narrowly tailored injunction, to stand up for itself and its employees, and to stop Lindell and MyPillow from further profiting at Dominion’s expense."

Read the full complaint.

Go deeper

FBI, Homeland Security warn of increasing threat to Capitol

Photo: Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images

The FBI and Department of Homeland Security predict violent domestic extremists attacks will increase in 2021, according to a report reviewed by Axios.

Driving the news: The joint report says an unidentified group of extremists discussed plans to take control of the Capitol and "remove Democratic lawmakers" on or about March 4. The House canceled its plans for Thursday votes as word of the possible threats spread.

18 mins ago - World

Pope Francis set to make first papal visit to Iraq amid possible turmoil

Data: Vatican News; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Pope Francis is forging ahead with the first papal trip to Iraq despite new coronavirus outbreaks and fears of instability.

The big picture: The March 5–8 visit is intended to reassure Christians in Iraq who were violently persecuted under the Islamic State. Francis also hopes to further ties with Shiite Muslims, AP notes.

"Neanderthal thinking": Biden slams states lifting mask mandates

States that are relaxing coronavirus restrictions are making "a big mistake," President Biden told reporters on Wednesday, adding: "The last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking."

Driving the news: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said Wednesday he will end all coronavirus restrictions via executive order, although some businesses are continuing to ask patrons to wear face masks. Mississippi is lifting its mask mandate for all counties Wednesday, per Gov. Tate Reeves (R).