Relatives of Michael Flynn, a retired Army general and former national security adviser, filed a $75 million defamation lawsuit against CNN Thursday for allegedly depicting their family as being QAnon supporters.
Jack and Leslie Flynn, Michael’s brother and sister-in-law, sued the news network in New York U.S. District Court, claiming CNN edited footage during a segment on February 4 that connected the Flynn family to the online conspiracy group, the Daily Beast reported.
According to the outlet, the segment featured footage of QAnon supporters, including the infamous QAnon Shaman, as well as video shared by Michael Flynn on Twitter in which his family recited a pledge to the United States Constitution on July 4th, ending with “Where we go one, we go all” – a slogan adopted by the conspiracy group.
Jack and Leslie Flynn argue that the family’s use of the slogan has nothing to do with the group and that they are “not followers or supporters of any extremist or terrorist groups, including QAnon.”
Michael Flynn served under former President Donald Trump as national security adviser prior to resigning while under examination for purportedly lying to the FBI. After charges were filed, the Department of Justice determined that federal prosecutors failed to reveal exculpatory evidence that weakened the department’s case, according to former Attorney General Bill Barr.
“It’s on the question of materiality that we feel really that a crime cannot be established here because there was not, in our view, a legitimate investigation going on,” Barr said last year regarding the decision to drop the case. “They did not have a basis for a counterintelligence investigation against Flynn at that stage, based on a perfectly legitimate and appropriate call he made as a member of the transition.”
Despite the DOJ’s decision to drop the case, U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan had the case remain active, appointing an outside attorney to prosecute. The three-year investigation eventually led to a pardon from then-President Trump.
“It is my Great Honor to announce that General Michael T. Flynn has been granted a Full Pardon. Congratulations to @GenFlynn and his wonderful family, I know you will now have a truly fantastic Thanksgiving!” Trump tweeted.
Last year, CNN settled a defamation lawsuit involving Covington Catholic student Nicholas Sandmann for an undisclosed amount. Fox News reported that the $250 million suit was seeking damages for “emotion distress Nicholas and his family suffered” as a result of the network’s reporting on an incident between Nicholas and Native American activist Nathan Phillips