Jones referred to an earlier court ruling as “fraudulent” while touting his First Amendment rights to spread potentially damaging disinformation.
A recent release of court documents shows that controversial conspiracy theorist and Infowars host Alex Jones was defiant and critical when questioned by attorneys of Sandy Hook victims in April.
As LegalReader.com has reported before, a coalition of Sandy Hook families earlier filed a lawsuit against Jones, who once claimed that the elementary school shooting was staged to sabotage Americans’ Second Amendment rights.
While Jones initially claimed that the entire shooting was an elaborate hoax, he later recanted his statements but maintained that—while real children had died—the massacre was planned by the government to erode public access to firearms.
In his April deposition, Jones said that he should not be held responsible for the suffering Sandy Hook parents suffered, including death threats and harassment from Jones’ own fans.
“No,” Jones said, “I don’t [accept] responsibility, because I wasn’t trying to cause pain and suffering.”
“And this is they are being used [sic] and their children who can’t be brought back being used to destroy the First Amendment,” he said.
Jones further suggested that he should not be liable for the consequences of his own speech by saying that the First Amendment affords him the right to make unfounded statements with potential real-world ramifications.
“If questioning public events is banned because it might hurt somebody’s feelings, we are not in America anymore,” Jones said. “They can change the channel. They can come out and say I’m wrong. They have free speech.”
ABC News notes that, after promoting a wide range of conspiracy theories on Infowars, Jones stated that he believed the shooting had happened—but maintained that he has the right to say it did not.
However, Connecticut-based Judge Barbara Bellis found Jones liable for damages in November.
Jones is currently expected to face a jury trial in early August, where jurors will determine the amount of compensation he may be compelled to pay the victims’ families.
Bellis, adds ABC News, found in favor of the Sandy Hook families and defaulted Jones without trial on liability, in no small part because Jones and his attorneys refused to comply with court instructions and repeatedly missed mandatory filing deadlines.
Another, Texas-based judge also ruled in favor of Sandy Hook families now living in Texas; damages are pending in that case, too.
Ironically, in his April deposition, Jones responded to questions from the victims’ attorneys—Alinor Sterling and Christopher Mattei—by calling Bellis’s rulings “fraudulent.”
Jones also insisted that Bellis is “friends” with a lawyer in Sterling’s law firm, Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder.
“I’m sure your pet judge will do whatever you want,” Jones said.
When Mattei asked Jones if he believed the Sandy Hook shooting was real, Jones’s attorney objected. Jones then said, “It is my right as an American citizen […] I have said that, in context, I could see how people would believe it’s totally staged and synthetic.”
Mattei later asked if Jones believed that Sandy Hook families are “unwitting pawns” in a plot against him.
“I have just seen really a lot of sad people that lost their children using me to keep the story of their children in the news and gun control in the news,” Jones said. “And so […] then I see the accusations by you guys that I made all this money off Sandy Hook when I know I didn’t.”
Jones, add ABC News, also filed numerous motions to bar certain evidence from trial, including information about “white supremacy and right-wing supremacy.”