Alex Jones Confronted at Trial With Texts Showing Evidence of Deception

AUSTIN, Texas — In a brutal cross-examination on Wednesday within the trial of the conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, a lawyer for Sandy Hook dad and mom produced textual content messages from Mr. Jones’s cellphone exhibiting that he had withheld key proof in defamation lawsuits introduced by the households for lies he had unfold concerning the 2012 faculty capturing.

The messages had been apparently despatched in error to the households’ legal professionals by Mr. Jones’s authorized group.

“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 dad and mom’ lawyer, Mark Bankston, requested Mr. Jones.

The textual content messages had been important as a result of Mr. Jones had claimed for years that he had searched his telephone for texts concerning the Sandy Hook instances and located none.

“You know what perjury is, right?” Mr. Bankston requested Mr. Jones, who indicated that he did.

The disclosure of the texts supplied a putting capstone to the ultimate day of testimony in a trial to find out how a lot Mr. Jones should pay the dad and mom of a kid who died within the capturing at Sandy Hook Elementary College in Newtown, Conn., for broadcasting conspiracy theories that the capturing was a hoax and that the households had been “actors.” The jury started deliberating late Wednesday.

The texts additionally revealed that Mr. Jones was warned about posting a false report concerning the coronavirus by a workers member calling the report “another Sandy Hook” for spreading disinformation about an occasion.

He acknowledged the workers member’s considerations, however Mr. Bankston mentioned the false report remained dwell on his Infowars web site on Wednesday.

Mr. Jones can be below scrutiny for his function in planning occasions across the assault on the Capitol, so the texts may very well be of curiosity to the Home Jan. 6 committee.

“We fully intend on cooperating with law-enforcement and U.S. government officials interested in seeing these materials,” Mr. Bankston mentioned.

The file with Mr. Jones’s texts is a part of a raft of fabric associated to the Sandy Hook instances mistakenly delivered to the households’ legal professionals. Mr. Bankston estimated that the information relayed to him in obvious error by Mr. Jones’s legal professionals contained a number of hundred gigabytes of fabric.

Mr. Bankston, who’s representing the Sandy Hook dad and mom Scarlett Lewis and Neil Heslin on the trial, additionally revealed new proof of Mr. Jones’s failure to supply court-ordered paperwork associated to lies he unfold concerning the mass capturing and its victims. Visibly uncomfortable for many of the 40-minute cross-examination, sweat operating into his eyes and down his neck, Mr. Jones mentioned he “100 percent” believed that the capturing occurred.

Mr. Bankston additionally offered monetary data that contradicted Mr. Jones’s declare below oath on Tuesday that he was bankrupt, and clips from his broadcasts maligning the choose and jury within the case.

Mr. Jones misplaced 4 defamation instances final yr that had been filed in opposition to him by the households of 10 victims of the capturing, which killed 20 first graders and 6 educators.

Mr. Jones misplaced these instances by default, after almost 4 years of litigation wherein he failed to supply paperwork and testimony ordered by courts in Texas and Connecticut. That set in movement three trials for damages; the one in Austin this week is the primary.

In testimony on Tuesday and Wednesday morning, Mr. Jones continued to insist that he had complied with court docket orders to supply paperwork and testimony within the run-up to the defamation trials. The truth is, his losses by default resulted from his failure to supply these supplies.

He additionally repeatedly tried to say that his proper to free speech protected him. However by defaulting within the defamation instances as a result of he did not adjust to discovery by withholding paperwork and testimony, he misplaced the chance to check that declare at trial. The present trial and the 2 upcoming trials are solely to determine the quantity he should pay the households in damages.

The choose admonished Mr. Jones and his lawyer, F. Andino Reynal, after the Infowars fabulist lied concerning the matter below oath on Tuesday. The choose additionally chastised Mr. Jones for telling the jury that he was bankrupt when his chapter submitting final week has but to be adjudicated; the households’ legal professionals say it’s his newest try and delay the upcoming damages trials. A federal chapter court docket in Texas dominated that the present trial may proceed, however the others are delayed for now.

In court docket on Wednesday, Mr. Bankston produced monetary data indicating that Mr. Jones was incomes income of as a lot as $800,000 per day lately by promoting weight loss program dietary supplements, gun paraphernalia and survivalist gear in adverts accompanying his broadcasts. Mr. Jones tried to accuse the households’ legal professionals of cherry-picking probably the most profitable every day revenues, however he was silenced by the choose.

Mr. Bankston additionally produced clips from Mr. Jones’s Infowars broadcast wherein he aired a replica of {a photograph} of the choose in Ms. Lewis’s and Mr. Heslin’s case, Maya Guerra Gamble, engulfed in flames.

“That’s justice burning,” a cowed Mr. Jones advised Mr. Bankston.

In one other broadcast, Infowars falsely linked the choose to pedophilia and human trafficking; in one other, Mr. Jones questioned the intelligence of the jurors within the case, implying that his political enemies had handpicked “blue-collar” individuals who “don’t know what planet they’re on,” and had been ill-equipped to determine what financial damages he should pay Ms. Lewis and Mr. Heslin. In written questions submitted to Mr. Jones, jurors took fast challenge with that characterization.

“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.

Ms. Lewis and Mr. Heslin are requesting $150 million in damages from Mr. Jones. However greater than cash, they’ve mentioned the case represents a chance to alert People to the societal harms posed by the viral unfold of disinformation over the last decade since Sandy Hook.

In closing remarks on Wednesday, Mr. Jones’s lawyer mentioned he was ready to pay a single greenback to Ms. Lewis and Mr. Heslin for every of the eight defamation claims.