Alex Jones in the stands. Screenshot via Law & Crime / YouTube.
Alex Jones took a stand Thursday in the second libel trial against him and Infowars. His testimony did not help anyone, least of all himself; as the day went by, he accused the lawyer questioning him of “ambulance chase” and said that “liberals” like him were responsible for “killing Iraqis”, comments that probably made sense to his audience but not to the jury. . He also managed to get a hold on the “challenge coins” he is selling on the site and publicly asked anyone who anonymously sent him large crypto donations to continue doing so.
“Conservatives know everything about silver and gold,” he cheerfully told plaintiffs’ attorney Chris Mattei, on an otherwise contentious day. Moments later, he explained the website where his audience can send him cryptographic donations. Mattei asked incredulously if he was doing an advertisement; Jones replied: “We are fighting the Deep State, we have to make money.” He then said he hopes the “big whales” who send large cryptocurrency donations will continue to do so. also the latest libel trial against him in Texas.)
Jones and Infowars have been calling Sandy Hook a “hoax” for years, starting hours after the shooting, a position Jones insisted he no longer holds. This second trial is taking place in Connecticut, where Jones and the company are being sued by a group of Sandy Hook families who lost loved ones in the attack, as well as an FBI agent, William Aldenberg, who has responded to the scene. Jones and Infowars lost all Sandy Hook cases brought to both Connecticut and Texas by default, after judges in both states ruled that the company did not respond significantly to the discovery and did not turn in the necessary paperwork. other party. As with the first trial, in Texas, where a jury ultimately awarded plaintiffs $ 49.3 million, this second trial is solely for determining damages.
So far, several plaintiffs have testified: Erica Lafferty and Carlee Soto Parisi, whose mother and sister, respectively, a Sandy Hook principal and teacher, have died in the attack, as well as David Wheeler and Jennifer Hensel, both of whom had children. dead. The survivor’s testimony stood in stark contrast to Jones’ performance on the stand; through tears, each person lovingly recounted the person he lost and the hell he went through when conspiracy theorists started targeting their families.
After the murder of his son Ben, David Wheeler testified Wednesday: “I felt like I was underwater. I didn’t know which way it was.” And in the midst of that, he added, “having someone publicly tell the world that it didn’t happen, that you are a cheat and a fake, is incredibly disorienting.”
The case has also been sidetracked by an endless stream of arguments about what can and cannot be mentioned in court. During Jones’s testimony, both sides struggled to get around the long list of things they decided not to mention in front of the jury, including Hillary Clinton, the 2016 presidential election, previous lawsuits against Jones, and previous lawsuits. won by Jones. the actors towards other parties. Jones also can’t claim that he didn’t profit from Sandy Hook’s coverage or that he didn’t spend much time on it over the years, both of which he made repeatedly outside the courtroom. Jones and Mattei debated whether he ever called Sandy Hook’s parents and sued them as actors (he did) or imitated them by faking their tears (he sure did).
Infowars sought to monetize the trial, including by creating a separate page, titled “Kangaroo Court,” to cover it, which Jones insisted in his testimony that he had nothing to do with. On the air, Jones also called Judge Barbara Bellis a “tyrant”, claimed the court was a “puppet court” and claimed he was “forced” to falsify himself after Judge Bellis hired his attorney. , Norm Pattis, who Jones cannot use his testimony to support the violation of his First Amendment rights, cannot claim that the default ruling is invalid and cannot mention other deals that some of these plaintiffs have won. (Notably, some of these plaintiffs were involved in a historic ruling against Remington Arms, the gun manufacturer who made the AR-15 that Sandy Hook shooter Adam Lanza used to kill his victims.)
Jones’s testimony then came in fits and starts, as he often claimed he could not remember things he had done on the air or to which he had testified in previous depositions. (This happened, ironically, after telling lawyer Mattei: “I have a good memory”, claiming he never mentioned one of the plaintiffs, Aldenberg, on the air; Mattei then showed a segment that Infowars posted on Aledenberg.)
As the day progressed, Jones, Mattei, and Pattis all started yelling and interrupting each other more and more, with Jones interjecting bizarre comments on things like mind control and Unabomber Ted Kacynski which, again, would make no sense. for anyone not deeply immersed in the Infowars cinematic universe.
Jones eventually stated that he was “done” by apologizing for saying that Sandy Hook was being staged. “Is this a wrestling session?” he asked. “Are we in China?” He added that he had “apologized hundreds of times” in the past, adding: “I legitimately thought it might have been staged. I support it and do not apologize.”
It was, on the whole, a disorderly and not very illuminating day in court for a disordered and not very illuminating man; Earlier in the day, Jones even managed to hint that the Deep State is secretly behind the lawsuit. When asked about Aldenberg, the FBI plaintiff agent, Jones said “the FBI” was suing him.
“Is this your testimony that the FBI is suing you?” Mattei asked, exasperated.
“I think this is a Deep State situation, yes,” Jones replied before allowing a minute later that the FBI did not “officially” sue him. (They aren’t even doing it unofficially.)
Jones’s testimony, in some ways, will continue when the court resumes Friday.
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