Alex Jones lawyers accidentally dumped content from his phone, Sandy Hook lawyers say


The legal team representing Infowars founder Alex Jones inadvertently sent the contents of his cellphone to an attorney representing the parents of a child killed in the Sandy Hook shooting, the attorneys said Wednesday. parents in court.

The apparent blunder, revealed by lawyer Mark Bankston as Jones took the stand during the damages phase of his libel trial, unearthed previously undisclosed texts about the massacre and financial information on Infowars. Bankston, who represents Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, the parents of 6-year-old Jesse Lewis, told the far-right conspiracy theory provider that his lawyers ‘messed up and sent me a full digital copy of your cell phone “.

“And that’s how I know you lied to me when you said you didn’t text about Sandy Hook,” Bankston said.

“It’s your ‘Perry Mason’ moment,” Jones replied, a reference to the fictional lawyer famous for his stunning 11 a.m. courtroom revelations. “I gave them my phone.”

Bankston noted that Jones testified under oath that he personally searched his cellphone for text messages from Sandy Hook and found none. Bankston asked, “You know what perjury is, don’t you?” I just want to make sure you know that before I go any further.

Jones denied lying, saying, “I’m not a tech guy.”

The dramatic moment came when Bankston cross-examined Jones, shortly before closing arguments in the damages phase of the libel trial that began last week in an Austin courtroom. Heslin and Lewis filed a lawsuit in 2018 over the far-right media personality’s relentless false claims that the Sandy Hook school shooting was a “giant hoax”.

Sandy Hook parents confront Alex Jones, say hoax allegations created ‘living hell’

After Jones refused for years to comply with court orders and turn over documents and evidence in lawsuits, District Judge Maya Guerra Gamble of Travis County, Texas, found Jones responsible for all damage in September. She issued default judgment against Jones, blaming him and his website’s parent company, Free Speech Systems, for “intentionally disobeying” court demands by refusing to turn over documents related to the various lawsuits. brought against him.

While confronting Jones about the newly discovered text messages in court on Wednesday, Bankston posted one, in which an editor who worked for Jones sent him a screenshot of an Infowars article claiming that a hospital was using mannequins in a coronavirus ward. Editor Paul Watson wrote that it “makes us look ridiculous” and added: “Sandy Hook again”. Jones replied via text: “I understand.”

Bankston also asked about his emails. He noted that Jones testified that he had none on Sandy Hook because he did not use email. Jones told the court: “Yes. Personally, I don’t go on the internet and just sit there and use email. I have never sent emails myself. Because I do not like that. I can not support it. There’s too much. »

The attorney then posted the emails he said Jones sent to attorneys, staff and others about business operations.

He focused on posts regarding Infowars financial information, which he said contradicted Jones’ previous statements about how much money he was making. Bankston pointed out that Jones claimed he lost millions from the platform and made up to $200,000 a day. But, he said, messages on Jones’ phone suggested Infowars was bringing in as much as $800,000 on some days. If he kept up that pace, he says, that would be about $300 million a year.

Jones claimed the numbers were handpicked. At one point, as Bankston was browsing through the contents of the phone, he scoffed, “That’s ridiculous.”

Gamble told jurors that what the attorneys say is not evidence, adding that without evidence, it is not yet known if the contents of the phone were given to the attorney for Sandy Hook’s parents by accident.

“But what we do know,” the judge said, “is that it was not properly handed over when it should have been.”

Although he admitted in his testimony Wednesday that the 2012 shooting was not a hoax but “100% real”, Jones throughout the trial continued to defend himself against criticism from his broadcast program while seeking protect its financial assets from potentially devastating damages that could be awarded. to the complainants.

Last week, Jones filed for emergency bankruptcy for Free Speech Systems, just months after filing for bankruptcy protection for Infowars and two other commercial enterprises.

Alex Jones’ media company files for bankruptcy at Sandy Hook trial

The families said Jones’ admissions and apologies were not enough; they are seeking at least $150 million in damages.

A costly damages payment would add to the string of legal losses for Jones and Infowars since parents of Sandy Hook victims began filing defamation lawsuits in 2018, after Jones repeatedly claimed on his show that the shooting was a hoax and that the victims were “in crisis”. actors.” Judges in Connecticut and Texas have issued default judgments against Jones in several lawsuits.

Jones was sued by at least nine Sandy Hook families.

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