Fact Check: Mike Lindell Did NOT Tell Donald Trump The Truth About His 2020 Vote Total, Courtroom Election Challenges And Michigan Vote Counters

Fact Check

  • by: Dean Miller
Fact Check: Mike Lindell Did NOT Tell Donald Trump The Truth About His 2020 Vote Total, Courtroom Election Challenges And Michigan Vote Counters Wrong Tally

Did Mike Lindell tell former President Donald Trump the truth when he said Trump won 80 million votes in the 2020 election, that no judge ever ruled on the meat of Trump's challenges to the election outcome and that hundreds of thousands of votes were added to Joe Biden's total by crooked Michigan election officials? No, that's not true: President Biden was elected with 81,268,924 votes, according to the official Federal Election Commission tally, while Trump won just 74,216,154. While some Trump election challenges were dismissed on procedural grounds, judges found that some Trump lawyers were making claims without evidence. Neither Trump nor Lindell have produced evidence for the claim that vote counters working overnight injected the thousands of fake ballots alleged.

Lindell made the 80 million votes claim in a November 16, 2021 Lindell TV interview with Trump (archived here) titled "Mike Lindell's Historic Interview With President Donald J. Trump," which opened: "I'm going to be interviewing our real President Donald J. Trump."

Here's how the interview appeared at the time this fact check was written:

Lindell made the false claim about Trump's total vote count at the 22:27 mark of the interview, saying to Trump:

And you know, the, the real totals, you got over 80 million votes. That's fact. I've got that. That's fact. Over 80 million, the most of anybody in history, you know?

The difference between Trump's actual total and Lindell's 80 million claim isn't even a rounding-up for conversational clarity. Rounding off Trump's total, one would say "74 million."

Lindell made other false claims during the televised interview.

False Claim: No judge ruled on the meat of Trump's more-than-60 challenges of the election results and media ignored it

Lindell, at the 4:40 mark, said courts have only made procedural rulings in lawsuits challenging the outcome of the presidential election. Lindell said to Trump:

We all saw the evidence, but no judges. I want to tell you no, no judges, including the Supreme Court, looked at the evidence. They just kicked the can down the road, said, 'No standing. No standing.'

This is false. While some cases were dismissed for lack of standing, Trump lost in several instances for bringing claims without evidence. In, for instance, Stoddard v. City Election Commission of the City of Detroit, the judge dismissed the complaint for lack of evidence, writing in his decision:

... plaintiffs do not offer any affidavits or specific eyewitness evidence to substantiate their assertions. Plaintiffs merely assert in their verified complaint "Hundreds or thousands of ballots were duplicated solely by Democratic party inspectors and then counted." Plaintiffs' allegation is mere speculation. ... This Court finds that it is mere speculation by plaintiffs that hundreds or thousands of ballots have, in fact, been changed and presumably falsified.

As the American Bar Association noted, a federal magistrate sanctioned two attorneys for carbon-copying disproved claims into their lawsuit seeking to overturn the election. U.S. Magistrate Judge N. Reid Neureiter of Colorado ordered Ernest Walker and Gary D. Fielder to pay costs to the officials they sued, writing in his August 3, 2021 order:

It appears that plaintiffs' counsel's process for formulating the factual allegations in this lawsuit was to compile all the allegations from all the lawsuits and media reports relating to alleged election fraud (and only the ones asserting fraud, not the ones refuting fraud), put it in one massive complaint, then file it and 'see what happens ... The lawsuit put into or repeated into the public record highly inflammatory and damaging allegations that could have put individuals' safety in danger. Doing so without a valid legal basis or serious independent personal investigation into the facts was the height of recklessness.

Lindell said the American news media did not review the evidence, either, but he is ignoring the fact that multiple news organizations reviewed the evidence he distributed at the "Cyber Summit" he convened in August 2021. Lead Stories paid for an election computer expert to attend and also assigned multiple experienced election reporters to review Lindell's material. The staff could find no evidence for Lindell's claims the election was stolen.

False Claim: Michigan pumped up Biden's tally with a middle-of-the-night infusion of fake votes

Lindell, at the 31-minute mark, described his unproved theory of election fraud in Arizona, then turned to Michigan, telling Trump:

Michigan, they were easy. You know what they did? They dump 100-and-some-thousand votes for Biden in the middle of the night. You can watch it ... And then they say to us what? Well, those were those mail-in votes. Well, here's what people don't know ... And what people don't realize is those weren't mail-in votes. The mail-in votes were not counted in the middle of night on the 4th. They were the first votes counted on the morning of the 3rd.

Republican lawmakers in Michigan found that Lindell's Michigan election expert, a Ph.D. chemist named Doug Frank, provided no reliable evidence of fraud and spread false information. The Republican-led Oversight Committee of the Michigan State Senate refuted claims Michigan's election was hacked (claims repeated by several speakers at the Cyber Summit) and in its June 23, 2021, report on its investigation, singled out Frank by name as having spread false information. It rebuked those who claim there was mass fraud in Michigan, writing:

This theory, like many of the other theories proposed as evidence of fraud, does not constitute actual evidence on its own. Those drawing such conclusions in their affidavits and testimony were asked to provide proof that something illegal actually occurred but no proof that ballots were fraudulent was provided or found by the Committee in testimony or in subpoenaed records.

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  Dean Miller

Lead Stories staff writer Dean Miller has edited daily and weekly newspapers, worked as a reporter for more than a decade and is co-author of two non-fiction books. After a one-year Harvard Nieman Fellowship, he served as Director of Stony Brook University’s Center for News Literacy for six years. As Senior Vice President/Content at Connecticut Public Broadcasting, a dual licensee, he oversaw radio, TV and print journalists, and documentary producers. He moved west to teach journalism at Western Washington University, edit The Port Townsend Leader and write the twice-weekly Save The Free Press column for the Seattle Times. Miller won the 2007 national Mirror Award for news industry coverage and he led the team that won the 2005 Scripps Howard first amendment prize. 

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