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First hearing set for Flynn-CNN $75 million defamation case

The first hearing in the $75 million defamation case brought against CNN by John “Jack” Flynn, the brother of former Trump White House national security adviser Michael Flynn, is set for June 1.

Representatives for CNN, John Flynn and Leslie Flynn, who is Flynn's wife and is also a party to the case, will appear before Judge Gregory H. Woods at noon that day for an initial pretrial conference, according to a notice posted on the online database for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. 

Per the rules of the court, the conference will be held via telephone. A CNN spokesperson said the network does not comment on litigation it is involved in. 

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In their suit, the Flynns allege a Feb. 4 CNN report falsely accused them of being followers and supporters of QAnon. Specifically, the lawsuit states that CNN edited a video — first posted to Twitter by Michael Flynn — “making it appear and insinuating that [Jack and Leslie] pledged an oath of allegiance to QAnon.”

“Plaintiffs are not followers or supporters of any extremist or terrorist groups, including QAnon,” the Flynns say in their suit. “CNN falsely attributed to Plaintiffs associations that never existed, actions Plaintiffs never took, including an oath of allegiance to QAnon, and views Plaintiffs never held. CNN’s false attributions exposed Plaintiffs to public scorn, ridicule and contempt, and lowered their esteem in the community, causing insult, embarrassment, humiliation and substantial injury to Plaintiffs’ reputations.”

Michael Flynn initially pled guilty in 2017 to making false statements to the FBI as part of the investigation of former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerWhy a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel CNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump MORE into the Trump campaign and Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election.

Flynn ultimately withdrew the plea and the Justice Department dropped the charges against him. In mid-March, the Army began reviewing a Department of Defense’s probe into Michael Flynn’s international dealings.