A federal judge denied MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell’s request to return his phone a week after it was seized by the FBI at a Hardee’s drive-thru.
U.S. District Court Judge Eric Tostrud, a Trump appointee, denied Lindell’s request to stop FBI searches of his phone as part of an investigation into alleged voting machine tampering in Colorado.
Lindell was seeking a temporary restraining order to stop the FBI “from taking any action.” Judge Tostrud ruled that Lindell’s evidence did not prove that his rights had been violated and said that the pillow expert did not provide adequate answers or evidence to the legal questions necessary to make such a claim.
The motion was filed by Lindell’s attorney, Alan Dershowitz, who told Law and Crime’s Sidebar that while he “agrees with [Lindell] at the very least,” he believes “it’s extremely important for people on my side of the political fence — Biden supporters — to hold the Justice Department accountable for trying to target our political enemies.”
In his filing, Lindell said the Justice Department’s warrant and seizure method for obtaining the phone were a violation of his First, Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights. But Judge Tostrud ruled that a temporary restraining order is an “extraordinary remedy.” He said that “absent an obvious answer” to Rule 41g, which references Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 41(g), he could not approve the order. The rule provides that “the court must receive evidence of any issue of fact necessary to decide the claim.”
Judge Tostrud said that “it would be difficult to grant relief under this rule when the moving parties nowhere explain how the rule’s procedural framework and substantive standards support the claim.”
He continued: “Whether Rule 41(g) requires the return of the cell phone is not obvious, and that is understating things.”
The judge also noted Wednesday’s ruling by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, which reversed and significantly reworked Judge Aileen Cannon’s order regarding approximately 100 classified documents seized from the residence Former President Donald Trump’s Mar-A-Lago. Judge Tostrud noted similarities in the Trump case:
“[W]when the owner of seized property seeks restitution while the case remains under investigation (ie, before criminal charges are brought), the district court must also balance the government’s interest in preserving the property against the owner’s right to to get is back.”
Tostrud ultimately ordered Lindell’s side to “contact the court to obtain a hearing date.” Then, he said, an outreach program will be established.
Lindell has not been charged with any crime.
Source : www.thedailybeast.com