Federal judge denies Mike Lindell’s request to recover phone seized by FBI

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CNN

A federal judge has denied Mike Lindell’s request to recover his phone from investigators after it was recently seized by the FBI at a drive-thru in Hardee, Minnesota while returning from a trip from duck hunting.

Judge Eric Tostrud said Lindell, CEO of My Pillow and a prominent supporter of former President Donald Trump’s false voter fraud allegations, had failed to prove that his rights had been violated. Tostrud, who is a Trump appointee, also said Lindell failed to properly answer the legal questions required to make such a request.

Lindell had alleged that the recent seizure of his phone by the FBI may have been an illegal search – where he was questioned about what he knew around the 2020 election and election machinery in Colorado – without being told. properly explains his rights or that he be allowed to leave the drive-thru without giving his phone.

The Justice Department had obtained a warrant, approved by a federal judge, to conduct the search, according to the court filing.

Lindell’s challenge followed other prominent Trump supporters and advisers, who had their own phones seized in investigations related to Jan. 6, 2021, and the 2020 election. Challenges to such seizures have routinely failed. to involve a court.

Lindell has not been charged with any crime.

Federal authorities in Colorado are investigating a violation of a county’s electoral system as part of efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election, according to subpoena documents obtained by CNN.

The records, recently obtained by CNN, showed the Justice Department is collecting evidence related to three potential crimes in Mesa County, Colorado: identity theft, willful damage to a protected computer and/or conspiracy to do one or the other.

The investigation appears to focus on possible crimes separate from the January 6, 2021 federal criminal investigation into the attempt to overturn the election result by Trump cronies in late 2020 and early 2021.

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