MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Attorneys who’ve been defending MyPillow chief executive and election denier Mike Lindell against defamation lawsuits by voting machine companies are seeking court permission to quit, saying he owes them unspecified millions of dollars and can’t pay the millions more that he’ll owe in legal expenses going forward.
Lindell confirmed in an interview with The Associated Press on Friday that he’s out of money and said he understands his lawyers are people who need to make a living.
Attorney Andrew Parker wrote in documents filed in federal court on Thursday that his firm and a second firm representing MyPillow in lawsuits by Smartmatic and Dominion Voting Systems can’t afford what it would cost to represent Lindell and MyPillow through the rest of the litigation. Continuing to defend him would put the firms “in serious financial risk,” he wrote.
It’s the latest in a string of legal and financial setbacks for Lindell, who propagates former President Donald Trump’s lies that the 2020 election was stolen from him, in part by rigged voting machine systems. Several big-box retailers, including Walmart, have discontinued his products.
“MyPillow’s been decimated. … We’ve lost hundreds of millions of dollars,” Lindell said, adding that the other main assets he has left are his home and pickup truck. He blamed Dominion, Smartmatic and the news media, including the conservative outlets Fox News and Newsmax.
“You’re all doing it because you want me to shut up about security of our elections,” a defiant Lindell said. “You’re all the same.”
But he vowed to keep fighting and to keep MyPillow going. He said he doesn’t have any other debts and has no plans to file for bankruptcy for himself or MyPillow.
In a rambling video posted on his FrankSpeech website Thursday night, he depicted himself as a victim of “cancel culture” and said he wasn’t done fighting.
“I’m never going to stop trying to secure elections for this country ever,” Lindell said.
Parker filed the requests to quit in federal court in Minnesota, where Smartmatic filed a defamation lawsuit seeking over $1 billion, and in Washington, D.C., where Lindell is a defendant in a similar $1.3 billion lawsuit by Dominion Voting Systems that also targets Trump allies Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell. Dominion won a nearly $800 million settlement from Fox News in April. Giuliani is being sued by a former lawyer over allegedly unpaid legal bills.
Parker’s firm also moved for permission to stop defending Lindell, MyPillow and FrankSpeech from a defamation lawsuit filed in federal court in Colorado by Eric Coomer, former director of product strategy and security for Denver-based Dominion.
In July, Lindell acknowledged to the Star Tribune of Minneapolis that his company was auctioning off equipment and subleasing some of its manufacturing space in Minnesota after several major retailers and some TV shopping networks stopped carrying MyPillow products amid the negative publicity. He said the equipment was no longer needed as MyPillow consolidated its operations and turned its focus to direct sales.
In April, an arbitration panel ordered Lindell to pay $5 million to a software engineer for breach of contract in a dispute over data that Lindell claimed proves China interfered in the U.S. 2020 elections and tipped the outcome to President Joe Biden. Lindell had launched his “Prove Mike Wrong Challenge,” as part of the “Cyber Symposium” he staged in South Dakota in 2021 to further his theories.
Parker wrote in his filings that Lindell and MyPillow had regularly paid his firm in full and on time through the end of 2022. But he said the payments slowed this year while the litigation fees and costs “dramatically increased.” By May, the payments slowed to more than 60 days and didn’t cover the full bills. Lindell and MyPillow made no payments for the firm’s July and August bills, he wrote, though they did make some relatively small payments that were only a fraction of the total owed.
The attorney said his firm, Parker Daniels Kibort, or PDK, warned Lindell and MyPillow in August and September that it would have to withdraw if the bills weren’t paid.
He said Lindell and MyPillow understand his firm’s position, don’t object, and are in the process of finding new lawyers. No trial date is scheduled in either the Smartmatic or Dominion cases.
Ever the pitchman, Lindell, known as the MyPillow Guy, asked viewers of his webcast who wanted to help to call in and buy his pillows, towels and other products.