A federal judge on Thursday rejected MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell’s motion to make the federal government return his phone, which FBI agents had seized when they confronted the pillow tycoon at a Hardee’s drive-thru in September.
Eric Tostrud, the U.S. District Court judge overseeing Lindell’s lawsuit against the Justice Department — which demands access to the FBI’s search warrant application materials and the phone’s return — denied both requests in a 36-page order.
Tostrud ruled that Lindell “will not suffer an irreparable injury” if he doesn’t get his phone back, and that the pillow salesman’s argument that he couldn’t run his businesses without it was “not persuasive.”
“Lindell himself has admitted that the contents of his cellphone were backed up only days before the warrant was executed,” the judge wrote. “He thus should have access via backup to all but a few days’ worth of business information.”
Tostrud also rejected Lindell’s request for the materials the government used to obtain its search warrant, asserting that the government “has demonstrated a compelling interest in the ongoing criminal investigation that outweighs [Lindell’s] right of access.”
“The warrant materials are extensive and contain references throughout to numerous individuals and activities, including recordings and statements from individuals who are not targets of the search warrants, all of which reveal the scope and direction of the Government’s ongoing investigation,” the judge wrote.
The FBI had seized Lindell’s phone as part of its federal investigation into Colorado’s Mesa County clerk Tina Peters, an election-denying ally of Lindell who’s been indicted for allegedly allowing unauthorized access to her county’s election system data.
That data got leaked online and surfaced at Lindell’s clownish “Cyber Symposium” last year, an event Peters attended that purported to prove MAGA World’s bogus voter fraud conspiracy theories about the 2020 election (it did not).
The FBI’s search warrant for the phone revealed that Lindell, Peters and other “co-conspirators” were being investigated for identity theft, intentional damage to a protected computer, and conspiracy to commit those two crimes.
Read the filing below: