WASHINGTON– MyPillow chief executive Mike Lindell said Tuesday that federal agents confiscated his cellphone and questioned him about a Colorado employee charged with what prosecutors called a “deceptive scheme” to violate voting system technology used across the country.
Lindell was approached by several FBI agents in the drive-thru of a Hardee fast-food restaurant in Mankato, Minnesota, he said on his podcast, The Lindell Report. Agents questioned him about Dominion Voting Systems, Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters and his connection to Doug Frank, an Ohio educator who alleges voting machines were tampered with, he said.
Agents then told Lindell they had a warrant to confiscate his cell phone and ordered him to turn it over, he said. In a video version of his podcast, Lindell showed a letter signed by a US assistant attorney in Colorado, which said prosecutors were conducting an “official criminal investigation into an alleged felony” and noted the use of a federal grand jury.
The circumstances of the investigation were unclear. The Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the seizure or investigation Tuesday night.
“Without commenting on this specific matter, I can confirm that the FBI executed a federal judge-approved search warrant at this location,” FBI spokeswoman Vikki Migoya said in an email.
Federal prosecutors, along with local Colorado prosecutors, have conducted a parallel investigation that has charged Peters with multiple felonies, including attempted influence over an officer, criminal identity theft and official misconduct. The Republican was elected in 2018 to oversee elections in Mesa County, Colorado. An assistant clerk, Belinda Knisley, was also charged in the case, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to two years’ probation.
For more than a year, Peters has appeared onstage with supporters of former President Donald Trump, who made false claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen. The charges against Peters and Knisley allege that the two were involved in a “deceptive scheme designed to influence officials, violate security protocols, exceed permitted access to voting machines and set in motion the eventual disclosure of confidential information to unauthorized persons “.
State election officials first became aware of a security breach in Mesa County in 2021, when a photo and video of confidential passwords for the voting system were posted to social media and a conservative website. Because each county in Colorado has unique passwords administered by the state, officials identified them as belonging to Mesa County, a largely rural area bordering Utah.
Peters appeared onstage at a “cybersymposium” hosted by Lindell in August 2021, who wanted to prove voting machines had been tampered with and vowed to unveil evidence of it during the event.
Although no evidence was presented, a copy of the hard drive from Mesa County’s voting system was distributed and posted online, according to participants and state officials.
The copy contained proprietary software developed by Dominion Voting Systems and used by voting offices across the country. Experts have described the unauthorized release as serious and said it offers a potential “training ground” that would allow anyone to scan for vulnerabilities that could be exploited in a future election.
Nearly two years after the 2020 election, no evidence has surfaced to suggest widespread fraud or manipulation, while state-by-state reviews have confirmed results showing President Joe Biden won.
Mesa County’s violation is just one of several across the country that have worried election security experts. Authorities are investigating whether unauthorized persons have been allowed into voting systems in Georgia and Michigan.
Lindell said federal agents also questioned him about when he first met Frank, a math and science teacher from Ohio who was among a group of people who had traveled across the United States to meet with community groups who claimed to have evidence that voting machines were rigged in the 2020 election.
In court filings, prosecutors say Frank met with Peters and members of her associates in her office in April 2021. During the meeting, Frank Peters said the county’s election administration system was vulnerable to outside interference and the group discussed concerns the state would “erase” the machines, according to court records.
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https://6abc.com/mypillow-ceo-cellphone-seized-mike-lindell-fbi-seizes-mesa-county-breach/12229988/ MyPillow exec Lindell says FBI agents seized his cellphone