Well, it looks like the “con is winding down.”
Trump-boosting pillow salesman Mike Lindell had offered $5 million to anyone who showed up to his three-day “cyber symposium” and could disprove his claims that China hacked the 2020 presidential election via voting machines.
That offer is no longer on the table as of Wednesday evening, according to Josh Merritt, the MyPillow CEO’s lead cyber expert.
In an interview with The Washington Times on Wednesday, Merritt acknowledged that the data Lindell had long promised to reveal at this week’s symposium in South Dakota was bogus.
While the pillow mogul has long boasted he had 37 terabytes of “irrefutable” evidence that revealed Chinese-backed hackers had broken into election systems in all 50 states and flipped votes from Donald Trump to Joe Biden, he had delayed unveiling the “packet captures”—otherwise known as intercepted network traffic or pcaps—throughout the seminar.
Throughout the first day of the symposium, several cyber experts who had traveled to Sioux Falls to attend in person and examine the packet captures had become frustrated and irritated that Lindell failed to provide any data, with one attendee saying they’d only been shown “random garbage that wastes our time.”
According to Merritt, that’s because there was nothing to reveal. The “packet captures are unrecoverable in the data” and “the data, as provided, cannot prove a cyberincursion by China,” he told the Times.
“So our team said, we’re not going to say that this is legitimate if we don’t have confidence in the information,” Merritt said.
Lindell had recently aired videos of incomprehensible text scrolling in the background, claiming these were the pcaps he had received and that the proof of widespread election fraud they contained would be so compelling, the Supreme Court would vote 9-0 to reinstate Trump as president.
The blurred scrolling images appear to have been all for show. Another cyber expert, J. Kirk Weibe, told the Times that the “text was likely meant to resemble what the packet captures would look like in the data set but were not actual packet captures.”
The original source of the data, Dennis L. Montgomery, had supposedly suffered a stroke as the symposium began and was not in attendance nor made available for contact throughout the first two days of the event. Montgomery initially came forward with the supposed packet captures after he spun a conspiracy theory that tools used by the CIA were being used to influence U.S. elections.
Both Merritt and Krieb, both of whom have pushed claims of voter fraud, agreed that the data Montgomery sent didn’t contain any packet captures and are useless in proving Lindell’s conspiracy that China changes millions of votes.
Merritt, however, said he still feels the data they were given contains important “forensic” proof that voters were manipulated, and he congratulated himself for what he was able to do with it.
“We were handed a turd,” he told the Times. “And I had to take that turd and turn it into a diamond. And that’s what I think we did.”
Before becoming Lindell’s lead “cyber expert,” Merritt had been pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell’s secret “military intelligence expert” in her “Kraken” lawsuits alleging foreign actors had used Dominion voting machines to steal votes from Trump. Merritt, known as “Spyder” in Powell’s court filings, is an information technology consultant and an Army veteran. However, he never completed an entry-level training course for military intelligence and was not an intelligence analyst.
All of the Powell cases he offered expert testimony to were tossed out of court.
In addition to promises of big reveals that Lindell could not back up and complaints that Fox News is ignoring him, the flop of a conference in Sioux Falls has been beset by bad news. The start of the event, which was delayed by technical issues, coincided with the revelation that Dominion Voting Systems had hit far-right networks One America News and Newsmax with billion-dollar defamation lawsuits. (Both channels had heavily promoted Lindell’s symposium, and OAN has aired the even nonstop.)
And just hours before Merritt acknowledged that Lindell had no proof to back up his election lies, a judge dealt a brutal blow to Lindell, denying the pillow king’s motion to dismiss Dominion’s $1.3 billion lawsuit over his claims the company rigged the election.