MyPillow founder Mike Lindell claims that some of the banking institutions he uses want to cut ties with him over “reputation risk,” as his legal battles in connection to the misinformation he continues to spread about the 2020 presidential election move forward.
Lindell, like former President Donald Trump, is a key promoter of the conspiracy theory that the last presidential election was “rigged” or “stolen” in favor of President Joe Biden. The allegation has not been substantiated by evidence, and election experts as well as cybersecurity professionals have consistently debunked the claims.
During a Friday episode of right-wing political strategist Steve Bannon‘s War Room podcast, Lindell claimed that Heartland Financial and Minnesota Bank and Trust are attempting to “de-bank” him over concerns that they could face fallout related to having him as a client. During the podcast, Bannon and Lindell played an audio recording that they said was a call with a bank official.
“Just because of our organization saying, ‘Well, why are we connected with somebody that could be in the news.’ And, not that the FBI is even sniffing and looking, but what if somebody came in and said, ‘You know what, we are gonna subpoena all his account records…and then also we make the news,’” the person in the recording said. “So it’s more of a reputation risk.”
Lindell went on to tell Bannon that the financial institutions want him to shutter his accounts within 30 days. But the pro-Trump businessman insisted that he is refusing to comply.
“I said, ‘I am not being part of this. I’m not leaving. So you’re going to have to throw me out of your bank,’” he said. During the segment, Bannon put the phone numbers and contact information of top officials at the institutions onscreen—urging supporters to call and complain.
“Where does it end everybody? Where does it end?” Lindell asked, suggesting that he is being persecuted for his controversial activism. He contended that the banks’ decision was related to his refusal to comply with the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021 pro-Trump attack against the U.S. Capitol.
Newsweek reached out to Heartland Financial and Minnesota Bank and Trust for comment but did not immediately receive responses.
Earlier this month, Lindell told CNBC that his phone records were subpoenaed by the House select committee. “I wasn’t there on January 6th and yes they did subpoena my phone records, but we filed a complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief against the January 6th committee and Verizon to completely invalidate this corrupt subpoena,” the businessman told the news outlet in a text message.
The MyPillow founder is also facing a defamation lawsuit from Dominion Voting Systems due to his repeated claims that the company helped steal the election for Biden. Dominion is seeking $1.3 billion in damages from Lindell, citing significant harm to its reputation as a result of his public misinformation campaign involving the company. A Trump-appointed judge, Justice Carl J. Nichols of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, already rejected a motion from Lindell to dismiss the lawsuit.
Meanwhile, Lindell continues to travel the country and speak at pro-Trump events pushing the claim that the 2020 election was stolen for Biden. Despite his allegations, more than 60 election challenge lawsuits filed by Trump and his allies failed in state and federal courts. Even 10 judges appointed by the former president ruled against the legal challenges.
Former Attorney General William Barr, who was widely seen as one of Trump’s most loyal Cabinet members, spurred controversy after he had the Justice Department investigate claims of widespread fraud following the 2020 election. But he asserted in December 2020 that there was “no evidence” to show malfeasance that would undo Trump’s loss.
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency at the Department of Homeland Security, while it was still led by a Trump appointee, described the last presidential election as the “most secure in American history.” Additionally, numerous audits and recounts across the country—including in areas where the election was overseen by pro-Trump conservatives—have consistently reaffirmed Biden’s win.
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