A Donald Trump-supporting software forensics expert investigated Mike Lindell's claims that China interfered in the 2020 election, and he found the MyPillow CEO's allegations were "nonsense."
The pillow magnate has sunk tens of millions of his own money into probes that he believes will prove his conspiracy theories about Trump's loss, but tech executive Bob Zeidman -- who claims to have invented the field of analyzing software source code to determine its origins -- disproved those claims and explained how he did it in a new column for Politico.
"I love a good challenge," Zeidman wrote. "And as the calls and emails kept coming in, I started to think, I should go, just to be there when history was made. I voted for Trump twice. If Lindell’s data was correct, maybe a presidential election would be overturned. I’d at least get to meet some really interesting people. So I flew to Sioux Falls [for a cyber symposium and contest to prove the fraud claims]."
Zeidman was among 40 to 50 hackers, cyber experts and others who answered Lindell's challenge, and he said they downloaded his alleged “proof of election fraud” that came from an unspecified source, which he said consisted of seven files that contained more than 23 gigabytes of data.
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"Two of the files were generic information about voting machines," he explained. "Another file was a meaningless one minute, 20 second silent video of a computer screen showing some unknown program being debugged. A fourth file was a 23 gigabyte binary file containing ones and zeroes, allegedly containing packet capture data, or 'PCAPs.'"
Lindell had repeatedly claimed that his data showed packet captures of votes being switched from Trump to Joe Biden, but Zeidman said he couldn't find that format at all, and three remaining files he'd downloaded didn't show anything meaningful.
"I started with the ominously named file Chinese_SourceIP_HEX.txt," Zeidman wrote. "Having programmed computers for about 50 years, I recognized that each of these hex numbers seemed to represent a code for alphanumeric characters known as ASCII code. So I took a software tool I’d written years ago and ran this text file through it to turn the text representation of numbers into actual numbers."
He ran the data through various tools and found none of it made sense or held any meaning.
"With no other information, they were about as meaningful as a list of random words," Zeidman wrote. "At that point, it was obvious that the data in these text files were not anything related to the 2020 election. That’s when I knew I had stumbled onto the key. Not the key to showing election fraud, but the key to showing Lindell’s nonsense."
"I repeated the same process on the other text files and found even stranger stuff," he added. "These files were also obfuscated word processor documents, but contained thousands of lines of gibberish — nothing more than random characters and numbers."
Zeidman swiftly left the contest at that point and wrote up a report that he registered online with the U.S. Copyright Office to prove it came before Lindell's deadline, and he told his wife to start thinking about what she wanted to do with the pillow monger's promised $5 million prize for anyone who could disprove his claims -- which a judge has ordered him to pay but he's currently fighting in court.
"Lately, people have been saying to me that I 'saved democracy in America,'" Zeidman said. "I’m really flattered, though I think that’s an exaggeration. But if more people sought truth, even when that truth is contrary to their beliefs — such as when a Republican like me destroys a Republican myth — then I think we really can save democracy in America. In fact, I think that’s the only way."