Disgraced former national security advisor Michael Flynn loves a conspiracy theory—except when it’s about him.
Flynn, who has boosted countless conspiracies over the last two years, from claiming Italian military satellites helped steal the 2020 election to claiming COVID was a hoax perpetrated by the “global elite,” filed a lawsuit last week against a man who has spent the same time repeatedly and consistently accusing Flynn of being Q.
Jim Stewartson, who previously worked in developing alternate reality games, has attained a level of notoriety online for his wild accusations about Flynn being part of a Kremlin-funded psyop to destroy U.S. democracy.
“Mike Flynn, the worst traitor in history who stole 2016, created Q, planned the insurrection,” Stewartson tweeted on Wednesday, repeating conspiracies he has posted obsessively for over two years.
Stewartson has, as usual, failed to produce any convincing evidence to back up his claims, which have been debunked and dismissed by journalists and researchers who closely track the development of QAnon.
Last month, the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism said it “has found no evidence to support” Stewartson’s claims about Flynn’s role in developing QAnon.
In Flynn’s lawsuit, filed last week in the circuit court in Sarasota County, Florida, where Flynn lives, the former Army general claims that “Stewartson sought fame through the trend of defaming prominent conservative figures.”
The lawsuit contains a long list of the accusations Stewartson has made against Flynn in social media postings, Substack articles and on his podcast.
The lawsuit includes a lengthy list of Stewartson’s “pernicious lies” about Flynn, which it says include “accusing him of committing treason and domestic terrorism, working for Vladimir Putin, being a Russian asset, stealing the 2016 election, working to overthrow the United States government, planning and executing a violent insurrection, being a leader of QAnon, being a Nazi, waging psychological warfare on the American people, wanting a second Holocaust, using ISIS radicalization techniques on the American people, torturing prisoners, and literally trying to murder former Vice President Mike Pence.”
The lawsuit says Stewartson has made these claims to boost his profile and profit from subscriptions to his podcast and Substack account. Flynn is seeking $75,000 in damages from Stewartson.
Stewartson has 20 days to file a written response to the lawsuit from the date he is served. When Stewartson was contacted for a comment by this reporter, who he has repeatedly claimed is part of the Flynn-Russia psyop, Stewartson replied on a public Twitter thread, saying, “I think that @GenFlynn is a psychological warfare expert who knows how to protect himself with his ‘army of digital soldiers’ including you.”
Stewartson shows no sign of changing his approach; this week he published a Substack post entitled, “Q sued me.”
Stewartson has repeatedly claimed Flynn has received training in psychological warfare, but there is no public evidence available to support this claim.
Stewartson also claims that when he decided to look into the origins of the QAnon conspiracy movement in 2020, it took him just three days to identify Flynn as the person behind the anonymous Q figure, and that the entire movement was an effort funded by the Kremlin to undermine U.S. democracy.
Stewartson initially focused his efforts on trying to de-radicalize QAnon believers via an organization called the Thinkin Project. However that project fell apart without any evidence that it had helped anyone, and in private messages posted by Stewartson in 2021 and reviewed by VICE News, it’s clear Flynn was always a target.
“If there is a secret mission to the Thinkin Project, it is to tear Mike Flynn to the fucking ground,” Stewartson wrote.
While Stewartson has repeatedly failed to produce hard evidence that Flynn is Q, there is little doubt that the disgraced former national security advisor has done everything in his power to ingratiate himself to QAnon believers—and profit from their hero worship of him.
In 2020, Flynn and his family filmed themselves taking the QAnon oath on July 4, and he has even trademarked the term “digital soldiers,” which became a QAnon rallying cry after Flynn first used it in the wake of Donald Trump’s 2016 election victory.
Since Trump lost the 2020 election, Flynn has been on a non-stop tour of the U.S., attending conferences and giving speeches to promote the lie that the election was stolen, calling for a military coup, and promoting anti-vax conspiracies—all of which have continued to make him a hero to many in the QAnon camp.
Despite his close links to QAnon, Flynn could be restored to the White House if Trump wins in 2024. “You stay in good health Michael, get ready OK, it’s not long, only a year and a half, just stay healthy,” Trump said during a speech at the Lee County Lincoln-Reagan Dinner last month.
And for QAnon conspiracists, this is evidence that Flynn has been in charge all along
“Why is Flynn’s potential return to Trump’s cabinet a terrifying scenario for the Deep State?” one prominent QAnon booster tweeted. “Because Flynn has arguably seen more intelligence on their crimes than anybody, and he has intentions on rectifying said crimes. The dogs will be off the leash come 2024.”
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