by Sharon Rondeau
(Sep. 9, 2021) — In response to a September 1 article in Salon.com and following a two-week quiet period, MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell told Steve Bannon’s “War Room” on September 3 that contrary to the article’s claim that he sold one of his aircraft to raise money to fund his defense in a lawsuit filed against him by Dominion Voting Systems, Inc., et al in February, he is actively using the plane to travel to various states where some legislators have expressed a desire to conduct forensic audits of the November 3, 2020 election.
In opening the segment, Bannon termed Lindell’s current efforts exemplary of “the 3 November movement,” evidently referring to those Americans desirous of restoring confidence in the U.S. election process and results after a myriad of reports and sworn testimonies described fraud in at least six states which could have changed the outcome of the presidential contest.
“Are you broke now that you’ve got to sell the jet?” Bannon asked Lindell, referring tongue-in-cheek to the article’s claim.
Lindell responded that at the conclusion of his “cyber symposium” last month predicated on his claim that China conducted major election interference in the form of a “cyber-attack,” mainstream media reporters hounded him for new story material but that he told them, “I don’t need to talk to you guys anymore to get the word out.”
Lindell’s September 3 interview with Bannon begins at approximately the 27:20 mark here: https://rumble.com/vm1rx5-episode-1230-big-updates-on-statewide-audits.html
In late June, Lindell announced the symposium, with invitations extended to journalists, state legislators, state attorneys general, governors and “cyber” experts. In fact, Lindell appeared so certain of his possession of accurate packet captures (PCAPS) that he proffered a $5 million award to anyone in attendance able to credibly disprove its authenticity.
The symposium ran from August 10-12 and did not ultimately release any PCAPS, which Lindell attempted to explain several days later in a broadcast termed “The Lindell Report” with WVW-TV host Brannon Howse.
Legislators from all 50 states attended the cyber symposium, Lindell claimed as it unfolded, sharing ideas on how to launch forensic election audits in their respective states. In an interview with Bannon on the third day, Arizona State Sen. Wendy Rogers billed the event a success by its having brought together lawmakers in a forum not previously available.
Rogers has been a strong supporter of the two-month-long Maricopa County, AZ forensic election audit whose results are anticipated to be released in the near future and which has been held up as a model for other states to follow.
Based on information divulged during a July 18 state senate hearing, Rogers, a Trump and “America First” supporter, has called for a decertification of Arizona’s electoral college results which awarded its 11 electoral votes to Biden.
Since the conclusion of the conference, Lindell has gone as far as to predict Trump’s return to the White House in August or September 2021 as a result of the data he claims to have. Not only did Trump win the six hotly-contested “swing” states of Arizona, Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Nevada and Georgia, Lindell claimed, but also Minnesota and New Hampshire (34:20).
During Trump’s final days in the White House, Lindell brought information he was provided earlier that month demonstrating how the election was “stolen.” The “evidence” was provided by one Mary Fanning, as reported January 18 by Howse; both Howse and Fanning are now two of Lindell’s closest associates and beneficiaries of his advertising dollars.
On February 5, Lindell released the first in a series of “Absolute”-themed videos in which he promoted the “China” narrative, relying, as he reported in the initial video, on information provided by Fanning, whose sole source of information was former government subcontractor Dennis L. Montgomery.
Not disclosed was Montgomery’s lengthy history of making spectacular claims as to software he allegedly invented, including while he was employed by the Department of Defense and CIA, which reportedly did not materialize. Also omitted was a 2010 six-count felony indictment issued in Clark County, NV against Montgomery which remains pending.
Prior to the cyber conference, Lindell told Howse, he hired two teams of alleged experts to examine the data he planned to release, one of which he termed the “Red Team.” Separate from his “own team,” Lindell said, the “Red Team” included one Josh Merritt, who he said he had not met prior to the Saturday preceding the symposium (46:30).
Lindell promised to reveal the packet captures, which he said he acquired from multiple sources, on the second night of the conference, August 11. The same day, Merritt reportedly told The Washington Times “that packet captures are unrecoverable in the data and that the data, as provided, cannot prove a cyber incursion by China.”
The packet captures were never released publicly, and according to one “cyber expert” who attended, were never on display at all.
Appearing shaken early on the third day, Lindell claimed he was “attacked” outside his hotel the night before and that the data he had planned to had been contaminated with a “poison pill,” causing him to halt the process.
During “The Lindell Report” live broadcast, Lindell asked Howse to play what he said radio host Pete Santilli admitted were conversations he recorded without Merritt’s knowledge in which Merritt intimated Lindell revealed nothing proving association with the 2020 election.
The discussion between Lindell and Howse begins at the 35:30 mark here, preceded by Santilli, whose show aired shortly before Lindell’s broadcast began. At first, Howse’s microphone is muted but the problem is quickly corrected.
During the lengthy conversation, Lindell defended his decisions, called out members of the media, accused ANTIFA of having infiltrated the conference, and lambasted his critics. At approximately the 59:00 mark, Lindell said he was “glad” he “didn’t bring everything there,” as he was warned there would be attempts to sabotage the symposium. He said the sources of his information are unimportant, while confirming that Montgomery and Fanning were two of those sources, terming them “heroes.”
Lindell said he wanted to “thank all the left-wing news” for publicizing his efforts. “We had an attack on our country…the audits are going to be done in every state…,” he shouted. He “validated” all of the information he acquired allegedly showing that Trump won the “eight states,” he claimed.
At 1:02:30, “Clip 3” consisted of Merritt telling Santilli, “Lindell was surrounded by fraudsters…He was given false information; he was basically set up for failure.”
“Josh doesn’t know that this guy’s recording him,” Lindell commented to Howse. “You just heard Josh say that Dennis Montgomery’s data was good…He said Dennis Montgomery is golden.”
At 1:05:11, Howse replayed Clip 3. Lindell again claimed Merritt had termed Montgomery’s work dependable, although it appears to this writer that Santilli was attempting to confirm that assertion with Merritt, who never did so.
Now that the symposium is over, Lindell told Bannon, his current focus is to convince state attorneys general and legislators to launch forensic audits of the 2020 election based on the Montgomery-sourced data, some of which Bannon displayed during the broadcast. (34:10) “It’s kind-of a three-step process. We do a two-week quick canvassing to show them…they used ghost voters…so we show ‘em that, and then we show ‘em…all of those intrusions in your state…the exact intrusions, the exact computers, the exact machines…and they can get subpoenas real easy, and some of ‘em they don’t even get subpoenas…Now I’ve talked…directly to two of the attorney generals. You’re correct, Steve; as soon as they‘re done with their audit thing, now the attorney general, they have standing in that state…”
Bannon specifically asked if the “data” Lindell plans to provide to attorneys general will be sufficient for them to forego a “full forensic audit” in their respective states. “We’re showing that it took three months to work on extrapolating from the raw data,” Lindell responded, “from the packet captures, to what we can read, what you had on the screen before: the latitude, the longitude, the intrusion, what it flipped…We’re going to their specific machines…and we do an audit there. So that…shows ‘em right away that our stuff is exactly;…if you go to a machine and it matches the packet captures there and it matches the data there, you marry the two and it’s an exact match.”
At the 42:45 mark, Bannon posed the observation on the part of some that the symposium was not effective in advancing the “3 November movement.”
“It actually speeded everything up, everybody,” Lindell replied. “You realize that there was a lot of things that manifested out of the symposium that I had to take care of right away.…We had the bad guy, the Josh Merritt;…he’s the one that spread this ‘plane’ rumor and spread that I bought somebody a house and spent all this money on cyber experts…that part is true, but we just pressed charges against him yesterday, so that was just one thing we took care of…”
“Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa – don’t bury the lead,” Bannon interjected in surprise. “What did you say?”
“We pressed charges against Josh Merritt — he’s the guy that infiltrated the Red Team; he was spreading this stuff that it wasn’t the correct information,” Lindell said. “We found out he was trying to discredit it and win the $5 million which nobody obviously won because it was all data from the 2020 election. And he’s the one –”
“What do you mean you pressed charges?” Bannon asked.
“We pressed charges; we’re taking him to court. I don’t even know what all the charges are…I just talked to lawyers yesterday,” Lindell said, clarifying that a lawsuit was filed. “I believe it’s civil,” Lindell told Bannon, although he said he “would like to make it ‘criminal.’” Amplifying at 45:06, Lindell again claimed Merritt had said, “Dennis Montgomery’s information is golden” but allegedly attempted to sabotage the symposium in “a very coordinated effort with him and other guys…”
To Bannon, Lindell claimed the $5 million would be awarded to anyone proving that the data “was not from the 2020 election.” However, when he first announced the bounty, the criterion he set forth on his website was and remains, “Mike Lindell offers $5 million award to anyone who can prove cyber data from November election isn’t valid.”
As referenced earlier, “cyber expert” Robert Graham stated toward the end of the third day that “we didn’t get the Absolute Proof packet captures that show the flipped votes that Mike Lindell promised.”
“Joshua” provided accurate information to him, Graham reported.
On August 10, the first day of the conference, Graham tweeted what he said was “straight answers” from Merritt, whose code name is reportedly “Spider,” and that he had been told Montgomery “is in the hospital and unable to come.”
On August 13, CD Media, which covered the event live, reported, in part:
Lindell said he was attacked physically the night before the last day of the conference. Waldron declared there were agitators and infiltrators at the conference. Lindell’s livestream was hacked multiple times at the conference. It has been reported the source for Lindell’s work, Dennis Montgomery, suffered a stroke before the conference started. We have no idea if this is true.
The Post & Email observes that should the alleged lawsuit against Merritt go to trial, witnesses and sources will no doubt be called upon to produce evidence and testify, including Montgomery. As we have extensively reported, Montgomery has a history of proffering information but ultimately failing to produce it.
In a 2015 case he filed against former New York Times columnist and author James Risen, Montgomery claimed Risen defamed him in a chapter of his book, “Pay Any Price: Greed, Power, and Endless War.” In a July 15, 2016 opinion, U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras recounted that Montgomery had been ordered by a magistrate to turn over the software he allegedly invented which stood at the heart of the suit. Risen, who quoted from copious documentation in the book’s chapter and consulted Montgomery for comment prior to publication, had reported others’ claims that it was nonfunctional.
The opinion, beginning at the bottom of page 19, reads (citations omitted):
On August 19, two days prior to the discovery hearing before Magistrate Judge Goodman, Montgomery apparently turned over what he would later claim is his only copy of the software to the FBI, along with a large volume of other computer drives and electronic information, in connection with an unrelated criminal investigation. At his deposition, which was held on August 20, he confirms this series of events. And that the motion hearing the next day, Montgomery’s counsel, Mr. Klayman, represented to the court that the software had been turned over to the FBI. Mr. Klayman also conceded that Defense counsel was not given advance warning of the transfer, but he did represent that Montgomery had arranged to have “continuing access to documentation which is not classified.”
… Montgomery failed to produce the software, and instead filed objection to the magistrate judge’s order, which remains pending. His primary argument was that the software is “nothing more than a red herring” and irrelevant litigation because Verizon admits he never reviewed or had access to the software for writing his book.
… Following the hearing, Magistrate Judge Goodman ordered Montgomery to turn over to the FBI a comprehensive set of instructions as to how to pinpoint the software, and to produce the software to the Defendants by October 26, 2015. He also instructed Montgomery to produce all of his correspondence with the FBI up until that point.
…On October 21, Montgomery then filed an affidavit contending, for the first time, that “upon searching my memory I do not believe that I have had access to any of the subject software, nor did I provided to the [FBI] when I turned over the drives.”
On November 17, 2017, a three-judge appellate panel affirmed the lower court’s dismissal of the case based on Montgomery’s failure to “create a triable issue for a jury.” In its opinion, the panel wrote:
This is Montgomery’s defamation case—he chose to bring it. To sustain it against a motion for summary judgment, he would have had to marshal sufficient evidence to create a triable issue for a jury as to each element of his claim. The district court held that he failed to take the basic steps necessary to do so. Critically, he produced virtually no evidence of the software’s functionality to factually rebut Risen’s statements that it never worked as Montgomery said it did.
Further, the judges said:
The district court had directed Montgomery to produce the subject software. Id. at 238-45. It specifically rejected Montgomery’s arguments that the software is either not relevant to the case or not capable of production. Id. at 239-42. The court was “substantially troubled by Montgomery’s and his counsel’s conduct in this case,” specifically, their representations about the software and failure to produce it in violation of a court order. Id. at 246. The court considered imposing case-ending spoliation sanctions, but deemed them unnecessary because the case was readily subject to judgment on its merits. Id.
It is worth remarking that this case is not the first in which Montgomery has balked at producing or otherwise demonstrating the capabilities of his obscure software. In his suit against his ex-employer in Nevada, he similarly refused in contravention of a court order to produce the software. J.A. 826-39. The court imposed monetary sanctions of $2,500 per day for continued failure to comply. J.A. 844. Montgomery settled that suit without producing his software. See J.A. 847-73.
As of this writing, The Post & Email is unable to locate a case involving Lindell and Merritt on pacer.uscourts.gov.