On Wednesday, a lawyer for the families of Sandy Hook victims cross-examined conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and produced text messages from his phone showing that he had withheld critical evidence in defamation lawsuits brought by the families for the lies he had spread about the 2012 school shooting.
Mr. Jones’ legal staff allegedly delivered the messages to the families’ attorneys in error. “Mr. Jones, did you know that 12 days ago, your attorneys messed up and sent me an entire digital copy of your entire cellphone with every text message you’ve sent for the past two years?” the parents’ lawyer, Mark Bankston, asks Jones.
For years, Mr. Jones insisted that he scoured his phone for texts related to the Sandy Hook shootings but had never seen any. “You know what perjury is, right?” Mr. Bankston did Ask Jones, who indicated that he did.
Jurors in a trial to determine how much Jones must pay the parents of a child who died in the Newtown, Conn., shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School were riveted by the revelation of text messages between Jones and the relatives of the victims.
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Jury Deliberations Began Late Wednesday
Staff members urged Mr. Jones not to submit a bogus article about the coronavirus calling it “another Sandy Hook” for disseminating misinformation about an incident, according to the text messages.
However, despite the employee’s complaints, Bankston stated that the fake item remained on his Infowars website as of Wednesday. The texts could also be of interest to the House Jan. 6 committee, which is investigating Mr. Jones’ role in preparing events surrounding the Capitol attack.
“We fully intend on cooperating with law enforcement and U.S. government officials interested in seeing these materials,” Mr. Bankston said. The file containing Mr. Jones’s texts was accidentally handed to the families’ lawyers in connection with the Sandy Hook cases. According to Mr. Bankston, the papers he received from Mr. Jones’s legal team comprised hundreds of gigabytes of data.
Scarlett Lewis and Neil Heslin’s lawyer, Mr. Bankston, also provided new evidence of Jones’s failure to produce court-ordered records relating to the mass massacre and its victims. With sweat flowing down his face and into his eyes for much of his forty-minute cross-examination, Mr. Jones stated that he “100 percent” believed the shooting took place.
— Jay Arnold (@jadedcreative) August 3, 2022
According to financial records submitted by Bankston, Jones’s claims of bankruptcy were untrue, and clips from his broadcasts were used to disparage the court’s decision-makers in the case. #AlexJones was informed by attorney Mark Bankston that he had received Jones’ whole cell phone history from his attorney. “Did you know that your lawyers messed up and sent me your entire cell phone texting history 12 days ago?” Bankston inquired. “You know what perjury is right?”
Last year, Mr. Jones was the subject of four defamation suits brought by the families of ten of the victims of the shooting, which resulted in the deaths of twenty-first graders and six educators. In those lawsuits, Mr. Jones was declared the loser by default after failing to submit papers and testimony as directed by courts in Texas and Connecticut for nearly four years of litigation. As a result, three damages trials have been set in motion, the first of which is being held this week in Austin.
The jury in the #AlexJones trial will RETURN TOMORROW morning for the Punitive damages portion. The plaintiff will call 1 witness. Alex Jones will NOT return to the stand. The jury will then decide punitive damages. Today’s $4,110,000 award was for actual damages.
— Cathy Russon (@cathyrusson) August 4, 2022
On Tuesday and Wednesday, Mr. Jones testified that he had followed the court’s directions to disclose records and testimony prior to the defamation trials. In reality, his default losses were caused by his inability to supply such materials.
His defense was always that he had the right to free expression. But because he failed to comply with the discovery by withholding documents and evidence, he lost the opportunity to prove that allegation at trial by defaulting in the defamation cases. To determine the amount he must pay the families in damages, he is now on trial and two more trials are scheduled.
After Jones, the Infowars fabulist, lied about the matter under oath on Tuesday, the judge admonished him and his lawyer, F. Andino Reynal. When Mr. Jones told the jurors that he was bankrupt last week, the court rebuked him for it; the families’ lawyers say it is his latest attempt to postpone the future damages trial. The current trial can go forward, but the others have been postponed pending a decision from a bankruptcy court in Texas.
For the past few years, Mr. Jones has been selling diet supplements, guns, and survivalist gear in advertising that accompany his broadcasts, according to financial data provided by Mr. Bankston on Wednesday. In an attempt to silence Mr. Jones, the judge ordered him to stop accusing the families’ attorneys of cherry-picking the most profitable daily profits.
Joe Biden has done everything #AlexJones is accused of doing in the Sandy Hook trial: Making up stories that demonize specific citizens in a dangerous way. (Fine People Hoax, Russian Collusion Hoax, Insurrection Hoax, to name three)
The first one won Biden the presidency.
— Scott Adams (@ScottAdamsSays) August 4, 2022
Ms. Lewis and Mr. Heslin were the subjects of a video created by Mr. Bankston, which included footage from Mr. Jones’ Infowars show in which he showed a picture of Maya Guerra Gamble, the judge in their case, surrounded in flames. “That’s justice burning,” a scared Mr. Jones told Mr. Bankston.
In another broadcast, Infowars falsely linked the judge to pedophilia and human trafficking. In another, Mr. Jones questioned the intelligence of the jurors in the case, implying that his political enemies had picked “blue-collar” people who “don’t know what planet they’re on” and were not qualified to decide how much money he must pay Ms. Lewis and Mr. Heslin in damages. Jurors questioned Mr. Jones about this depiction in written questions.
“Are you aware that this jury consists of 16 intelligent, fair-minded citizens who are not being improperly influenced in any way?” one wrote to Mr. Jones. “I don’t think that you are operatives,” Mr. Jones replied.
Mr. Jones is being sued by Ms. Lewis and Mr. Heslin for $150 million in damages.
In addition, they have argued that the case provides an opportunity to educate the public about the social ills caused by the viral spread of disinformation since Sandy Hook ten years ago. On Wednesday, Mr. Jones’s lawyer said he was prepared to pay a single dollar to each of the eight defamation claims brought against him by Ms. Lewis and Mr. Heslin. Stay tuned with us only on Lee Daily