Washington (CNN) My pillow CEO Mike Lindell An expert who debunked his data related to the 2020 election has been ordered to pay $5 million, according to an arbitration award obtained by CNN.
Lindell, the financier of election intrigues, pledged to give this multimillion-dollar sum to any cybersecurity expert who could refute his statements. The jury awarded Robert Zeidman, who has decades of experience in software development, $5 million in damages on Wednesday after he sued Lindell over the amount.
CNN obtained arbitration documents and video filings, including Lindell’s testimony related to the dispute.
In its decision, the arbitration panel wrote: “On the basis of the foregoing analysis, Mr. Zeidman has conducted under contract.” He demonstrated the data provided by Lindell LLC, and like information reflected from the November 2020 election, unequivocally did not reflect the data for the November 2020 election. Failure to pay Mr. Zeidman the $5 million award to Mr. Zeidman was a breach of contract, giving him a right of restitution. “
The decision represented another blow to the MyPillow CEO’s credibility after he publicly promoted unproven allegations of widespread fraud in the 2020 presidential election. Lindell has also faced defamation lawsuits related to his election claims.
“The lawsuit and ruling mark another significant moment in the ongoing evidence that the 2020 election was legal and valid, and the role of cybersecurity in ensuring integrity,” said Brian Glaser, founder of Bailey & Glasser, LLP, who represented Zeidman. “Lendell’s claim to have 2020 election data has been flatly refuted.”
In a short phone interview with CNN, Lindell said “it’s going to end up in court,” criticized the media, and declared the need to get rid of electronic voting machines.
Zeidman told CNN’s Erin Burnett on “OutFront” Thursday that he was relieved by the ruling, adding that he was not suing for money, but to disprove election lies.
“I have some friends who I hope will remain friends because I am a conservative Republican,” Ziedman said. “But I thought the truth must come out.”
Lindell held a so-called “cyber seminar” in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, in 2021, with the goal of presenting data he claimed to have obtained in connection with the 2020 election. He invited journalists, politicians, and cybersecurity experts to attend.
“The point of the symposium was to get the big audience and get all the media out there, and then — the cyber guys — say yes, this data is from the 2020 election, and you better look at how it’s intruding into our machines, our computers, and our computers, and our machines,” Lindell said in a deposition. Obtained by CNN “That was the whole point.”
He also announced the “Prove Mike Wrong Challenge” – in which anyone who can prove their data is unrelated to the 2020 election can win a multimillion-dollar reward – to get more traction in the media over allegations of election fraud.
“I thought, well, what if I put up a $5 million challenge there, he’s going to get the news, which it did,” Lindell said in the filing. “So, I got some attention.”
Zeidman signs up for the challenge, agrees to its contractual terms and discovers that Lindell’s statements are highly inconsequential.
“Usually, data analysis can take weeks or months, and I had three days,” Zeidman told CNN. “But the data was so clearly fake that it took me a few hours before I could prove it was fake.”
While Lindell made a variety of outlandish and unproven claims about the 2020 election, such as insisting that foreign governments infiltrated voting machines, the jury made clear that its ruling was focused solely on whether the data Lindell provided to experts was related to the 2020 election.
The jury wrote: “The contest did not ask the participants to refute election interference. Thus, the contestants’ task was to prove that the data provided to them was not valid data from the November 2020 election.”
According to the panel arbitration. “The focus of the decision is on 11 files that were made available to Mr. Zeidman in the context of the contest rules.”
The committee’s decision ran through each of the data files Zeidman provided, and it determined over and over again that the data had nothing to do with the 2020 election.
It is not clear when or if Zeidman will be able to collect his payment. Lindell recently told the right-wing broadcaster and former Trump administration official Steve Bannon that his company took out nearly $10 million in loans while he was battling defamation lawsuits related to his false election claims.
“I’m afraid I’ll run out of money before I see five million,” Zeidman told Burnett.
During his testimony, Lindell said he was never worried that someone might win the challenge.
“No, because they have to prove that it wasn’t from 2020 and that it was,” Lindell said with a chuckle.
This story has been updated with additional information.
CNN’s Jack Forrest contributed to this report.
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