According to a ruling by the arbitration panel that CNN was able to receive, My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell has been ordered to pay $5 million to a specialist who refuted his data relating to the 2020 election.
Lindell, a proponent of election conspiracies, pledged to reward any cyber security specialist who could refute his findings with a multimillion-dollar prize. Robert Zeidman, who has decades of experience in software development, was given a $5 million payout on Wednesday by an arbitration panel after suing Lindell for the amount.
In connection with the issue, CNN has obtained video depositions, arbitration records, and Lindell’s deposition.
According to the analysis presented above, the arbitration panel concluded that Mr. Zeidman fulfilled his obligations under the contract.
He established beyond a reasonable doubt that the material Lindell LLC gave and claimed reflected information from the November 2020 election was false. Mr. Zeidman has a right to compensation because the $5 million reward was not paid to him as agreed.
The ruling deals the MyPillow CEO another another hit to his reputation after he made public pronouncements endorsing unverified allegations of rampant election fraud in the 2020 cycle. In connection with his election claims, Lindell has also been sued for defamation.
“The lawsuit and verdict mark another important moment in the ongoing proof that the 2020 election was legal and valid, and the role of cybersecurity in ensuring that integrity,” said Brian Glasser, founding partner of Bailey & Glasser, LLP, who was Zeidman’s attorney. “Lindell’s claim to possess information on the 2020 election has been categorically refuted.”
In a brief phone interview with CNN, Lindell said that “this will end up in court,” attacked the press, and argued that electronic voting machines should be banned.
Zeidman expressed relief over the verdict on “OutFront” with CNN’s Erin Burnett on Thursday, adding that the purpose of his lawsuit was to expose electoral fraud rather than obtain financial gain.
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Because I am a conservative Republican, I have some friends who I hope will remain friends, Zeidman remarked. But I believed that the public needed to know the truth.
In 2021, Lindell organized a purported “cyber symposium” in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, to present the information he allegedly acquired on the 2020 election. He extended an invitation to journalists, legislators, and cybersecurity professionals.
“The symposium was to get the big audience and have all the media there and then they – the cyber guys – saying yes this data is from the 2020 election and you better look at how they intruded into our machines, our computers, and that was the whole purpose,” said Lindell in a deposition obtained by CNN.
In order to gain additional attention in the media for his allegations of election fraud, he also announced the “Prove Mike Wrong Challenge,” in which anyone who could show that his data had nothing to do with the 2020 election might win a large prize.
According to Lindell in the deposition, “I thought, well, what if I put up a $5 million challenge out there, then it would get news, which it did.” “Therefore, you received some attention.”
Zeidman accepted the challenge’s criteria of participation and signed up for it, after which he found Lindell’s data to be entirely absurd.
“Normally data analysis could take weeks or months, and I had three days,” Zeidman told CNN. But it took me a few hours before I could prove the data was fictitious because it was so blatantly false.
The arbitration panel made it clear that its decision was solely focused on whether the information Lindell provided to experts was relevant to the 2020 election, despite the fact that Lindell has made a variety of absurd and unsupported claims about the election, such as insisting that foreign governments hacked voting machines.
Participants in the competition were not required to refute election meddling. The challenge for the contestants was to demonstrate that the information provided to them was inaccurate or unreliable for the November 2020 election, the arbitration panel stated.
“The Panel was not asked to rule on China’s election meddling in 2020. The arbitration panel stated that it was not even asked to rule on whether Lindell LLC had election data in its possession or if it had evidence that proved such interference. The 11 files that Mr. Zeidman was given in the context of the Contest rules were the main subject of the ruling.
The panel’s ruling went over each of the data files Zeidman gave, again concluding that the information had nothing to do with the 2020 election.
Zeidman’s ability to get his payment has yet to be determined, as well as when. As he fights defamation charges connected to his fraudulent election claims, Lindell recently revealed to right-wing podcaster and former Trump administration official Steve Bannon that his company took out over $10 million in loans.
“I’m afraid he’s going to run out of money before I ever see my five million,” Zeidman said to Burnett.
In his deposition, Lindell claimed he was never worried that the challenge may possibly be won.
No, Lindell replied, “because they have to prove it wasn’t from 2020 and it was.”
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