Gen. Flynn Given 'Green Light' to Sue CNN in Massive Court Win
Case brought by Flynn’s brother John “Jack” Flynn and sister-in-law
Former Trump national security advisor Michael Flynn has been handed a win by a judge enabling his family to sue establishment media network CNN for slandering him and his family as followers of the QAnon conspiracy theory.
A federal judge on Thursday allowed a case brought by Flynn’s brother John “Jack” Flynn and sister-in-law Leslie Flynn to proceed against CNN.
U.S. District Judge Gregory Woods’ ruling says the network aired a report this year entitled “CNN Goes Inside A Gathering of QAnon Followers.”
“The report included a brief clip of Lieutenant General Michael Flynn proclaiming, ‘where we go one, we go all.’ Plaintiffs John P. (‘Jack’) and Leslie A. Flynn … are shown in the clip standing next to General Flynn,” wrote Woods, an appointee of former President Barack Obama.
In their suit against CNN, Jack and Leslie stated they are not followers of QAnon.
They are now seeking $75 million in damages, saying CNN defamed them.
According to Poltico, QAnon is a “popular online conspiracy theory that claimed elites were sexually abusing children and that former President Donald Trump was planning to declare a national emergency to strike back at the shadowy figures engaged in the abuse.”
CNN pointed to tweets posted by Jack claiming they were consistent with the beliefs of QAnon
But the Flynns argued against claims Jack’s tweets “embraced the Constitution and equal justice under the law . . . not the dangerous, extremist, racist, anti-Semitic and violent beliefs espoused by QAnon” and that he has “denied basic tenets of the QAnon movement.”
The Flynns said one of CNN’s significant failures was not reaching out to them before publication.
They added the network had “no independent evidence to corroborate that [they] were followers or supporters of QAnon.”
Although Woods dismissed the Flynns’ defamation claim because the law required them to list specific monetary losses from the story, the judge allowed the false light claim to proceed.
The Flynns must show that “[t]here has been some publication of a false or fictitious fact which implies an association which does not exist; [and] [t]he association which has been published or implied would be objectionable to the ordinary reasonable man under the circumstances.”
“Whether the Flynns were QAnon followers, and in particular, whether the Flynns were ‘followers’ as that word is understood in the context of CNN’s publication, is a highly fact-intensive inquiry,” Woods wrote.
He added Jack’s tweets “do not conclusively contradict [the Flynns’] factual allegations.”
“These allegations, which the Court must accept as true, are sufficient to plausibly allege that CNN did not have reasonable grounds to believe that the Flynns were QAnon followers,” Woods wrote.
Politico noted that Woods “did not discuss whether Jack and Leslie Flynn should be considered public or private figures,” but the magistrate judge who previously reviewed the case determined they were private.
As The Gateway Pundit reported: That detail was pivotal in the Sandmann incident because he was clearly a private citizen.
Therefore, his attorneys merely had to prove negligence on the part of CNN and other outlets to win in court. A higher standard of knowingly making false statements or exercising a reckless disregard for the truth applies to public figures like politicians if they wish to sue a news outlet.
The establishment media must continue to be held to account for false reporting, and the Flynns may be next in line to teach CNN a lesson.