Twitter Suspends Former Trump Adviser Flynn, Lawyer Powell
Twitter Inc. suspended several high-profile supporters of President Donald Trump, including former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and attorney Sidney Powell, as part of an effort to remove accounts linked to the QAnon conspiracy group prominent at Wednesday’s storming of the U.S. Capitol.
The platform has also suspended the account of Ron Watkins, a prominent QAnon supporter whose father runs the online discussion forum 8kun, formally called 8Chan, which is a central hub for the QAnon conspiracy.
“The accounts have been suspended in line with our policy onCoordinated Harmful Activity,” a Twitter spokeswoman said. “We’ve been clear that we will take strong enforcement action on behavior that has the potential to lead to offline harm, and given the renewed potential for violence surrounding this type of behavior in the coming days, we will permanently suspend accounts that are solely dedicated to sharing QAnon content.”
Flynn, Watkins and Powell have promoted the QAnon conspiracy theory, which revolves around the belief that a cabal of pedophiles run the world — and Trump’s presidency would bring it to an end.
Watkins was the administrator for 8kun, but said he resigned on the morning of Election Day. In the days following the election, Watkins’s Twitter activity suddenly increased exponentially, as he pushed claims about voter fraud. His conspiracy theories were promoted by One America News Network and Powell.
Watkins repeatedly tried to gain the attention of Trump on Twitter, and it eventually worked. Trump retweeted Watkins’s dubious claims of election fraud multiple times in December.
Powell has been a key figure in Trump’s efforts to overturn the election results, pushing QAnon and voter fraud conspiracies. Many of Trump’s supporters who overran the Capitol on Wednesday said the election was stolen from him. Congress was certifying the electoral college victory of President-elect Joe Biden when the rioters entered the building.
Powell represented Flynn against charges he lied to federal investigators stemming from the special counsel’s investigation of Russian influence on the 2016 election.
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