Update 5:55 p.m. ET: The jury in the defamation case involving InfoWars’ Alex Jones ordered him to pay $4.1 million in compensatory damages to the families of the children killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. The jury’s decision came after one hour of deliberation Wednesday and seven hours Thursday, according to The Guardian.
The plaintiffs said that Jones’ constant lies calling the massacre of 26 people, including 20 children, fake and a “false flag” operation by gun control proponents, among other deep state conspiracy nonsense.
It’s far less than the $150 million families were originally demanding, but jurors still have to determine if there’s any punitive damages owed to the families over Jones’ reckless behavior, and to deter future bafoonery. The parents spoke of how Jones’ conspiracies enticed people to attack the grieving families both online and in real life.
Jones also has another defamation trial coming down the pike in Connecticut.
Alex Jones, the mouthpiece of the unhinged conspiracy site InfoWars, has been called a liar in court. It really shouldn’t surprise anyone. After all, the defamation trial itself is over him lying to his massive audience about the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, claiming with full-throated zeal that the kids in that shooting were not real and part of a false flag conspiracy.
On Thursday morning, Jones’ lead attorney Andino Reynal announced he had filed a (very belated) motion to destroy all copies of texts he’d inadvertently sent to the plaintiffs council 13 days ago containing “a whole variety of things that should not have been turned over” which apparently includes “medical records” though he didn’t elaborate much on what the files contained (though we’ll get to that later). Reynal argued that after he was informed of the slip up, he sent Sandy Hook parents’ attorney Mark Bankston a message saying “please disregard.” He further told the judge this should be grounds for a mistrial.
“I believed based on that communication that was what was going to occur,” he added. “It appears [the plaintiff’s lawyers] want to have a mistrial in this case.”
Jones, the professional pimple-shaped clown of InfoWars, could not have made more mistakes during his ongoing defamation trial if he actually tried. But on Wednesday, his legal team seemed like they were trying to one-up his incompetence. While Jones was on the stand, Bankston strolled up to the online right-wing provocateur and announced he had a several-hundred gigabyte trove of text messages and other documents accidentally sent to his email by the defendant’s attorneys.
Bankston claimed he notified Reynal right away about the mistake, and that under Texas law, Reynal has 10 days to identify privilege for any of the material contained in the documents. Apparently, in all that time, Reynal did not claim privilege on any of those documents sent by mistake.
Texas’ rules of civil procedure show that under Rule 193.3 a party can claim “privilege” to info submitted “inadvertently” to the opposition. There is a 10-day period after the party who accidentally sent that info becomes aware of the mistake to identify what they actually meant to produce and state their privilege.
Bankston then dissed Reynal saying that he’s trying to put a “fig leaf over his own malpractice,” adding that since the defendant’s now citing those discovery rules in front of the court it’s clear “he knows how to read [those rules.]” The lawyer even cited an incident when Jones’s prior attorney in the case, Robert Barnes, had also accidentally handed over documents to the plaintiff’s party.
“’Please disregard’ places no legal duty on me whatsoever,” the Sandy Hook families’ lawyer said.
The televised defamation trial (which is just one of three such lawsuits) has put Jones and his incompetent lawyers in the national spotlight. Jones has testified now that he believes the massacre was “real,” though we know he has continued to peddle conspiracy theories about other, more recent school shootings.
But more than that, Bankston said the “medical records” that the defendants were so concerned about were actually the psychiatric records of “all nine Lafferty plaintiffs,” which is the set of Sandy Hook parents in a separate defamation case. This would represent “a significant data breach” against the parents in that other case in which Reynal is “not allowed to have those documents.”
Bankston went even further, claiming that the texts from Jones’ phone included in the leaked docs also include messages sent to Roger Stone, a Trumpworld confidant who’s wanted by the Jan. 6 Committee for his connections to the planned storming of the capitol. Rolling Stone reported Wednesday that the Jan. 6 committee is already planning to subpoena Jones’s documents. Bankston basically said he’s more than ready to comply.
Judge Maya Guerra Gamble told Reynal that she will let him mark any of the submitted documents as “confidential” which she’ll have to review. However, she said she won’t go as far as to seal the entire phone. She also ordered that the plaintiffs delete the medical data contained, but Bankston said that’s already been done.
And of course, the judge denied Reynal’s motion for a mistrial.