Lawyers for Trump ally Lindell seek to quit election defamation cases

By David Thomas

(Reuters) – Lawyers for My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell sought permission on Thursday to quit representing him in defamation lawsuits brought by Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic USA, alleging he owes the attorneys “millions of dollars” in unpaid legal fees.

Lindell, a prominent supporter of Republican former president and current GOP candidate Donald Trump, is fighting claims that he spread false conspiracy theories that Dominion and Smartmatic voting machines were used to rig the 2020 U.S. presidential election for Democrat Joe Biden.

Lindell has not made any payments on his legal bills since July, his lawyers at Parker Daniels Kibort and Lewin & Lewin told federal judges in Minnesota and Washington, D.C. overseeing the defamation cases.

Forcing the firm to continue representing Lindell without payment “could threaten the very existence of the firm,” Parker Daniels Kibort co-founder Andrew Parker said in a court filing. Parker did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Lindell said on Thursday that he is “out of money” and praised his lawyers as being courageous.

Lindell said he was the victim of “lawfare” and that he is unable to borrow money. He said he is looking for new counsel.

“We’ll find someone, that’s the way it is,” Lindell said.

Dominion is seeking $1.3 billion in damages from Lindell and his pillow company in the Washington case. Smartmatic is seeking an unspecified amount of damages in Minnesota federal court.

Fox Corp and Fox News in April settled defamation claims brought by Dominion for $787.5 million. Smartmatic’s separate $2.7 billion lawsuit against Fox is pending in New York state court.

Both companies are also pursuing election-related defamation lawsuits against former Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani and others.

Trump has continued to make false claims that voting fraud cost him the last election even as he faces criminal prosecutions in Washington and Georgia over his attempts to overturn the 2020 results.

(Reporting by David Thomas; Editing by David Bario and David Gregorio)