In February, MyPillow fluffer Mike Lindell pronounced himself “thrilled” to be named by Dominion Voting Systems in a $1.3 billion defamation suit, promising to countersue Dominion for violating “the First Amendment rights of everyone in this country by using bullying lawsuits and RICO law.” In fact, he promised two suits, one in his personal capacity, and one by the company he founded.
Yesterday MyPillow made good on the threat and filed a complaint against Dominion in Minnesota federal court. Sadly, there is no RICO claim here. There’s not even an allegation of defamation per se, per quod, or by implication.
But take heart, because there’s something even crazier.
By contracting with governmental jurisdictions to provide comprehensive voting solutions for public elections, including the election of individuals to serve in constitutionally prescribed offices, and as more fully described herein, Dominion is a governmental actor.
That’s right, Dominion Voting Systems, a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in Denver, Colorado, is functionally the same as the United States government for all eternity as a result of having sold its machines to various jurisdictions for election administration.
By this logic, the toilet paper vendor for the federal courthouse is also a state actor. Watch your back, Kimberly Clark!
“Dominion willfully participates in joint activity with the state during voting” — willfully! — and thus “there is pervasive entwinement between Dominion and the state.”
So MyPillow is filing a civil rights claim against Dominion for violating MyPillow’s free speech rights and depriving it of property without due process of law.
Clearly we could stop reading this lawsuit right now, because OMG, SHUT UP, a private company is not the government. But these chuckleheads continued for 50 pages of exquisite arglebargle.
As proof that Dominion deployed a “media blitzkrieg to inflict a crippling fear of becoming the next target for destruction if one dares to raise any question about the use and integrity of voting machines during elections” the complaint lays out 20 pages of public criticism of the company going back decades.
MyPillow claims that its right to speak was violated, while simultaneously asserting that it had nothing to say and thus no speech to suppress.
“Dominion did not sue MyPillow because MyPillow made statements about Dominion,” the company writes. “MyPillow made no such statements.”
Dominion’s lawyers sent cease and desist and preservation letters to proponents of the Big Lie, a routine legal practice which is nonetheless described by the pillow plaintiffs as “widespread intimidation tactics of ordinary citizens [that] may be routine in a Third World country—but they are abhorrent in America.”
Lordy, how much Red Bull do you have to drink to put this in a federal filing?
Dominion’s campaign descends from a long and sad history in this country, the McCarthy era in which lives and organizations were destroyed, and families torn apart, for being labeled a Communist. Just as during that era being associated with a suspected Communist could end a professional career, so too today, those who, like MyPillow are merely associated with a critic of Dominion and the integrity of the 2020 election, face expulsion from public life in large parts of America. Dominion is using today’s cancel culture to eliminate dissent and to cover up the election issues that compromised the 2020 result.
Wait, MyPillow is communist now? I thought the Biden win was a “communist coup.” This is very confusing!
Mike Lindell practically howled with delight at the prospect of litigation, crowing “Now I can get to the evidence faster. It’s going to be amazing,” to the the Washington Post. That was just weeks after he sicced Charles “Gawker Killer” Harder on the Daily Mail for suggesting that an attractive woman would voluntarily spend time with him. So it’s a bit rich that his own company is now accusing Dominion of abusive litigation and “debasing the legal system through a practice that has become known as ‘lawfare.’”
But not as rich as the claim that it was that threat of litigation against the proponents of the Big Lie and the networks that profited off putting them on the air that caused stores to pull MyPillow’s products off the shelves. In their telling, Bed Bath & Beyond isn’t backing away from an unhinged loon whose company sponsors Tucker Carlson’s show Time to Panic, Grandma! No, companies are dropping MyPillow because Tom Clare sends mean letters, and somehow that violates due process.
Defendants intentionally and improperly interfered with Plaintiff’s prospective contractual relations by falsely maligning Plaintiff in public, thereby inducing many of Plaintiff’s commercial suppliers and buyers to terminate their long-standing relationships with Plaintiff so that Plaintiff lost the benefit of its expected future sales to and from these entities.
Not buying it? Okay, how about… whatever this is.
In the alternative, Defendants illegally created a danger of injury to Plaintiff, and Plaintiff was then injured in its property interests through the danger source created by Defendants.
Plaintiff was a member of a limited, precisely definable group, specifically, individuals and entities targeted by Defendants on the basis of their expression of ideas that Defendants desired to suppress or their affiliation with someone who expressed ideas that Defendants desired to suppress.
You can read the whole crazy thing yourself right here. But maybe update your virus protections first — some of those footnotes are a little dodgy. What does a message board for Penn State athletics fans have to do with election litigation?
Forget it, Jake, it’s Pillowtown.
My Pillow, Inc. v. U.S. Dominion, Inc. [Docket via Court Listener]
Elizabeth Dye lives in Baltimore where she writes about law and politics.