Pillow salesman and Trump ally Mike Lindell loses court bid to reclaim phone seized by FBI
The chief of the U.S. Border Patrol union was one of several people involved in a long-running fight with the Justice Department over the FBI’s investigation of a former Florida congressman, a person familiar with the matter said.
In an interview with Fox News, Carlos Padilla, chief of the National Border Patrol Council, said he will now allow a federal judge to inspect his personal cell phone, which he said was seized in May 2018, when he traveled in Florida with his wife and three children.
The seizure, Padilla said, was an effort to intimidate him and a longtime supporter.
Padilla said he wanted to cooperate with the Justice Department’s investigation of the former congressman, a close Trump ally and frequent defender in Trump 2020 fundraising.
Padilla said he now wants to return his phone seized in May, when he and his family went to Disney World and a movie theater.
He said he believes the FBI obtained a court order to use his phone under the guise of searching for evidence in the investigation of former Rep. Matt Gaetz and his son, accused last week of making anti-Semitic comments.
Padilla said the phone was seized in May after he traveled with his wife to Disney World and a movie theater in Orlando. (Padilla declined to provide details about his travel to the film, or any details about when he got the mobile phone.)
He said FBI agents who showed up at his home in Orlando to confiscate his phone “demanded to see my cell phone,” and “wanted to take a picture of it.” They also demanded that he produce his passwords, but he declined, and he said he gave them permission to take his phone as leverage in the case.
Padilla, who is a member of the National Border Patrol Council, said he now plans to return the phone to the Justice Department in