My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell walks out ahead of President Donald J. Trump to speak with members of the coronavirus task force and reporters during a briefing in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic from the Rose Garden at the White House on Monday, March 30, 2020 in Washington, DC.
Jabin Botsford | The Washington Post | Getty Images
Former Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz is advising lawyers for MyPillow CEO and election conspiracy theorist Mike Lindell in the $1.3 billion defamation suit brought against him by Dominion Voting Systems.
“My role is extremely limited,” Dershowitz told CNBC on Tuesday in a phone call.
Dershowitz maintained he is “not representing either Lindell or MyPillow,” and that he is only offering advice on the First Amendment issues surrounding the case.
Those remarks run counter to the impression given by Lindell, who called Dershowitz “part of the team” just a day earlier.
“I’ve got probably over 12 attorneys now, including Alan Dershowitz,” Lindell said Monday in a radio interview. “He came on board because he believes this is going to be the biggest First Amendment lawsuit in history.”
Lindell made a similar claim in a separate interview Monday morning with ex-Trump advisor Steve Bannon.
“He’s one of a team of lawyers,” Lindell said of Dershowitz on Bannon’s podcast, Mediaite reported.
Lindell did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment. A spokesperson for Dominion did not immediately provide comment.
Dominion, whose voting systems are certified in 28 states, filed suit against Lindell last month. The company accuses the pillow magnate of defaming Dominion and spreading false conspiracies about the 2020 presidential race for his own financial benefit.
Lindell, a staunch ally of Trump who advertises heavily on Fox News, has repeatedly claimed that Dominion’s machines helped rig the 2020 election in favor of President Joe Biden.
Lindell “sells the lie to this day because the lie sells pillows,” Dominion’s legal complaint says.
Smartmatic, a separate elections technology firm, has filed its own multibillion-dollar defamation suit in New York state court against Fox and its hosts.
Attorney Alan Dershowitz
Lior Mizrahi | Getty Images
Dershowitz said Tuesday morning that he was called by a member of Lindell’s legal team about a week earlier and asked if he would be willing to consult with them “on purely First Amendment issues” raised by Dominion’s suit.
Dershowitz said he is not acting as counsel of record and is not advising Lindell or his team on jurisdictional issues or the possible countersuits that Lindell has recently teased.
The civil docket for Dominion’s case in Washington federal court against Lindell, which is publicly viewable on the government website PACER, does not currently show any legal representation for MyPillow or its CEO.
Dershowitz highlighted his decades-long history of defending the free-speech rights for those with whom he disagrees.
He also noted that he has previously shared his belief that the First Amendment protects Lindell’s claims.
“Look whether Lindell was right or wrong, he had the right to express his views, and this is a part of the public debate, and I don’t think unless they can demonstrate that with malice he deliberately, willfully, knowingly defamed them, I don’t think they’re going to get any pillows out of this,” Dershowitz told Newsmax in late February.
Dominion says it has incurred more than $1.1 billion in expenses attempting to protect its reputation “as a direct result of the viral disinformation campaign.”
The company had previously filed defamation lawsuits against Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, and the pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell.
The suit against Lindell is “definitely not the last,” Dominion CEO John Poulos told CNBC last month.
— CNBC’s Lauren Thomas contributed to this report.