Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, pulled out of a fundraiser for his legal defense fund that was organized by a supporter of the bizarre conspiracy theory known as QAnon, after Mother Jones reported on the event’s connection to the fringe group.
Flynn’s attorney, Sidney Powell, tweeted Saturday that “given recent reports and comments,” Flynn, a retired Army lieutenant general and former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, would not be participating “in a conference in Atlanta on Sept 14.” The conference referenced is the Digital Soldiers Conference, a one-day event that promises to prepare attendees to battle against “censorship and oppression” at the hands of “Big Tech Socialists” who have been “de-platforming those who dare violate their liberal sensitivities.” The event’s proceeds are to benefit a fund raising money for Flynn’s legal defense, according to the conference website.
Earlier this month, Mother Jones’ Dan Friedman and Ali Breland reported that Flynn and George Papadopolous, who also aided the Trump campaign on foreign policy, were scheduled to appear at the event organized by a QAnon follower, Richard Granville. Granville told Mother Jones he was working with Powell, Flynn’s attorney, to organize the “Digital Soldiers” event.
The event is being organized by Rich Granville, the CEO of Yippy, Inc, who has a Twitter feed littered with references to QAnon, a conspiracy theory centered around the notion that Trump is secretly taking down an international ring of pedophiles that includes high-ranking Democrats. QAnon supporters believe that an anonymous person known as Q is dropping online clues about this supposed clandestine operation. The web page for Granville’s conference prominently features an American flag festooned with a Q.
Flynn admitted in his plea that he had lied by denying they had discussed sanctions the Obama administration imposed on Russia for interfering in the 2016 election. Flynn also admitted to lying to FBI agents about other transition activities and to lying in Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA) documents submitted to the Justice Department about his lobbying activities for Turkey while he advised the Trump campaign.
A second tweet from Powell says she and Flynn “strongly condemn the statements by Mr. Rich Granville as reported by Mother Jones and the two ‘hit pieces’ by Mr. Dan Friedman.” As of 4 pm on Saturday afternoon, Flynn remained listed on the event’s website as a speaker.