My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell, a die-hard supporter of former President Donald Trump who offered a $5 million reward to any cybersecurity expert who disproved his conspiracy theory about the 2020 U.S. presidential election, was ordered Wednesday by an arbitration panel to pay up after a Trump voter called his bluff.
Robert Zeidman, a 63-year-old software developer from Nevada, sued Lindell for breach of contract after the CEO refused to make good on a 2021 “Prove Mike Wrong Challenge” to anyone who could debunk his false claim of having data showing Chinese meddling in the last presidential contest.
The publicity stunt did not require participants to disprove election interference. Contestants were only required to show that Lindell’s data was unconnected to the 2020 election.
Zeidman told The Washington Post that he was “really happy” with the panel’s ruling.
“They clearly saw this as I did — that the data we were given at the symposium was not at all what Mr. Lindell said it was,” he said of the arbitrators. “The truth is finally out there.”
Zeidman’s lawyer, Brian Glasser, told the Post that the panel’s decision should be a warning to other purveyors of election lies.
“I think the arbitrators thought it important that these claims be vetted, because they’ve done great harm to our country,” he said.
Lindell slammed the ruling in a text message to the Post: “They made a terribly wrong decision! This will be going to court!”
Lindell is also the target of a $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit filed by Dominion Voting Systems, which claims the CEO tried to increase My Pillow sales — the company gave discounts to customers using the codes “QAnon” and “FightforTrump” — by peddling Trump’s “Big Lie” that Democrats stole the election.
On Tuesday, Fox News reached a $787.5 million settlement with Dominion Voting Systems, a move that averted an imminent jury trial.
“It has not been a good week for election deniers,” tweeted political commentator Keith Boykin.