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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 have been apparently despatched in error to the households’ legal professionals by Mr. Jones’s authorized staff.

“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 have been vital as a result of Mr. Jones had claimed for years that he had searched his cellphone for texts concerning the Sandy Hook circumstances 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 placing 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 toddler who died within the capturing at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., for broadcasting conspiracy theories that the capturing was a hoax and that the households have 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 stated the false report remained dwell on his Infowars web site on Wednesday.

Mr. Jones can also be underneath scrutiny for his function in planning occasions across the assault on the Capitol, so the texts might be of curiosity to the House Jan. 6 committee.

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

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

Mr. Bankston, who’s representing the Sandy Hook dad and mom Scarlett Lewis and Neil Heslin at the trial, additionally revealed new proof of Mr. Jones’s failure to provide 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 working into his eyes and down his neck, Mr. Jones stated he “100 percent” believed that the capturing occurred.

Mr. Bankston additionally introduced monetary information that contradicted Mr. Jones’s declare underneath oath on Tuesday that he was bankrupt, and clips from his broadcasts maligning the decide and jury within the case.

Mr. Jones lost 4 defamation circumstances final year that have 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 lost these circumstances by default, after practically 4 years of litigation during which he failed to provide 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 courtroom orders to provide paperwork and testimony within the run-up to the defamation trials. In truth, his losses by default resulted from his failure to provide these supplies.

He additionally repeatedly tried to assert that his proper to free speech protected him. But by defaulting within the defamation circumstances as a result of he did not adjust to discovery by withholding paperwork and testimony, he lost 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 decide admonished Mr. Jones and his lawyer, F. Andino Reynal, after the Infowars fabulist lied concerning the matter underneath oath on Tuesday. The decide 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 to delay the upcoming damages trials. A federal chapter courtroom in Texas dominated that the present trial might proceed, however the others are delayed for now.

In courtroom on Wednesday, Mr. Bankston produced monetary information 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 advertisements accompanying his broadcasts. Mr. Jones tried to accuse the households’ legal professionals of cherry-picking essentially the most profitable day by day revenues, however he was silenced by the decide.

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

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

In one other broadcast, Infowars falsely linked the decide 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 have 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 speedy 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. But greater than money, they’ve stated the case represents a chance to alert Americans 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 stated he was ready to pay a single greenback to Ms. Lewis and Mr. Heslin for every of the eight defamation claims.

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