Two family members of former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn have now suffered a notable loss in their efforts to secure tens of millions of dollars in damages from CNN in response to the network characterizing them as followers of the conspiracy theory known as QAnon. The conspiracy theory insists that a secret cabal of Satan-worshiping cannibals are hiding behind world affairs, and — as utterly ridiculous as that sounds — the idea has enjoyed startling support among those who aren’t particularly inclined towards double-checking their claims in the first place. At one point, the Flynns video-taped themselves reciting a QAnon-linked slogan, and a magistrate judge concluded that they fit the “dictionary definition” of QAnon followers — thus, there wasn’t defamation.
The magistrate judge’s conclusions were not the final stage of the defamation case. Instead, the findings constitute “a recommendation from a magistrate judge, meaning the ruling must be still be adopted by a district court judge before becoming final,” as explained by Reuters reporter Jan Wolfe. The plaintiffs, including Michael’s brother John (otherwise known as Jack) and John’s wife Leslie, sought $75 million in damages from CNN. The lawsuit is connected to a segment that CNN aired earlier this year about QAnon that included shots from the video in which the Flynns recite the QAnon-linked slogan in question, which was “where we go one, we go all.” As the magistrate judge in this case put it, the “Flynns’ own statements establish that they meet the dictionary definition of a follower of QAnon.”
On his own time, Michael has recently been avidly promoting lies about the integrity of the presidential election, which he’s claimed was somehow rigged for Joe Biden. When Trump was still in office, he suggested the imposition of martial law amid the then-president’s frenzied attempts to cling to power, and after Biden took office, Flynn at one point appeared to back the idea of a coup unfolding in the United States, although he backtracked, claiming that such wasn’t actually what he meant. Originally, though, he was asked at a QAnon-linked event why a coup like affected the Asian country of Myanmar recently couldn’t happen here, and Flynn said, “it should.”
Here's the ruling against Michael Flynn's family in their $75 million lawsuit against CNN.
(It's a recommendation from a magistrate judge, meaning the ruling must be still be adopted by a district court judge before becoming final.)https://t.co/bOEImpwUJd
— Jan Wolfe (@JanNWolfe) October 23, 2021