A federal judge in Minnesota has refused the FBI’s challenge to search and seize Mike Lindell’s phone in a criminal investigation related to the 2020 election.
Judge Eric Tostrud said Lindell, My Pillow’s CEO and a prominent backer of former President Donald Trump’s fraudulent voter fraud claims, had failed to prove the search was unconstitutional, and said he could not return the phone or get more information. search for
“The government has demonstrated a compelling interest in preventing premature disclosure of the search warrant materials in an ongoing federal criminal investigation. Multiple factors here justify keeping the search warrant materials under seal,” the judge wrote.
“The extensive 80-page search warrant affidavit describes in great detail” the nature, scope and direction of the government’s investigation and the individuals and [activities] involved,’ including information obtained from recorded communications, confidential informants and cooperating witnesses. Premature disclosure of these materials would significantly undermine the Government’s ongoing criminal investigation by giving plaintiffs (and potentially other targets of the investigation) a window into the Government’s investigation that could jeopardize the entire investigation,” the judge continued.
Tostrud noted that the FBI’s search warrant materials reveal information about individuals who are not the subject of the search and said that “the government’s significant interest in the integrity of an ongoing criminal investigation, as well as the privacy interests of these unrelated individuals, outweighs the interests of prosecutors in the search warrant materials.” to get these”.
The judge added that “there is no practical way to order redactions” of the 80-page order.
Lindell has not been charged with any crime.
Federal authorities in Colorado are investigating a breach of a county’s voting system as part of efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election, according to subpoena documents issued to Lindell earlier this year.
Records previously obtained by CNN showed that the Justice Department is gathering evidence related to three possible crimes in Mesa County, Colorado: identity theft, malicious damage to a protected computer and/or conspiracy to commit both.
The investigation appears to be looking at possible crimes separate from the January 6, 2021, federal probe into attempts by Trump acolytes to overturn the election results in late 2020 and early 2021.