Alex Jones's Lawyer Accidentally Sent a Digital Copy of His Phone to Opposing Counsel, and the January 6th Committee Wants It
This is a hell of a legal adventure.
I have a longstanding policy against headlines that are as long as this one, but there is no way I could condense this wild story into something short and still as informative.
Alex Jones is in the middle of a trial where he's being sued for millions for all the emotional damage he caused claiming the Sandy Hook school shooting was fake. Jones, a conspiracy theorist and radio show host, landed in legal hot water as the parents of the Sandy Hook victims took him to court. He's also lost his social media accounts over the years and his reach has been severely reduced.
Jones was on the stand as an attorney for the Sandy Hook legal team was grilling him over his past statements. Jones was attempting (poorly) to defend himself when the lawyer revealed a very horrifying truth: That Jones' own lawyer had sent a digital copy of Jones' phone to the Sandy Hook lawyer by mistake and never attempted to claim it was privileged.
During parts of his testimony stretching over two days in a Texas courtroom, Jones repeatedly told jurors that he does not use email and that he had searched the contents of his phone for messages pertaining to Sandy Hook after he was sued by several family members of the victims for falsely saying the shooting was a hoax. The parents’ attorney suggested the cellphone records show Jones perjured himself on the stand.
Jones said that his phone search, done during the discovery phase of the trial, did not turn up any relevant messages. Texas Judge Maya Guerra Gamble has already ruled in favor of Sandy Hook parents Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis by default, saying that Jones did not comply with the rules of discovery in the case.
Mark Bankston, who is representing Heslin and Lewis in their defamation case against Jones, asked the Infowars host again on Wednesday whether he had an email account or used text messages to discuss Sandy Hook. Jones’ reply to both questions, under oath, was that he did not.
“Twelve days ago, your attorneys messed up and sent me a digital copy of every text,” Bankston said. “Do you know what perjury is?”
If you watch the video of the exchange you can almost pinpoint the moment Jones' soul leaves his body in fear (it's at the 48-second mark).
Bankston later told reporters on Wednesday that the records were sent by one of Reynal’s legal assistants through a file sharing platform, and that the file included several hundred gigabytes of data covering at least 27 months of phone records.
Under the legal rules of Texas, Bankston said he notified Reynal of the apparent mistake, kicking off a 10-day period in which Jones’ attorneys could notify the parents’ attorneys of any privileged records that needed to be returned. Bankston said that neither he nor other members of his legal team looked at the records during that period.
“All Reynal said at the time was ‘Whoops, that’s the wrong link, disregard,’” Bankston said.
Once the 10-day period ended, Bankston said he and co-counsel began combing through the phone records, uncovering messages that he said Jones’ lawyers should have turned over during discovery along with a trove of Jones’ private, personal communications.
That is certainly very embarrassing for Jones' legal team, and a boon for the Sandy Hook team. But the drama doesn't stop there, because of course it doesn't and how dare you think it would. Don't you ever think this could just stop there. This is Alex Jones we're talking about, and he didn't just disappear in the wake of his banning from social media (some might say it is unfortunate that he didn't just disappear).
No, my friends. This wouldn't be a true poopshow of a legal battle without the January 6 Committee somehow being involved.
Now — a source familiar with the matter and another person briefed on it tell Rolling Stone — the January 6th committee is preparing to request that data from the plaintiff attorneys in order to aid its investigation of the insurrection. These internal deliberations among the committee, which is probing former President Donald Trump’s role in causing the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot, began within minutes of the lawyer’s revelation being heard on the trial’s livestream on Wednesday afternoon.
Jones has already featured prominently in the panel’s investigation for his role in whipping up public support for the insurrection and for his close ties to alleged conspirator Stewart Rhodes, the leader of the Oath Keepers militia. Jones frequently hosted Rhodes as a guest on his InfoWars channel and his militia provided security for the Texas-based conspiracist.
The committee initially subpoenaed Jones in November 2021 and asked for him to turn over documents and participate in a deposition. Jones, according to a letter sent by the committee, was initially told by the White House on January 3, 2021 that he was “to lead a march to the Capitol, where President Trump would meet” with protesters.
So here's what happened:
A digital copy of Alex Jones' phone was sent to opposing counsel in his Sandy Hook trial.
The lawyers waited 10 days for Jones' attorney to declare it is privileged. That declaration never came.
Opposing counsel can definitively claim that Jones committed perjury.
The January 6 Committee wants any and all pertinent information and will likely get it.
Dear God in Heaven, I hope the January 6 Committee gets another public hearing and brings in Alex Jones.
If this were an episode of Law & Order, it would be panned as simply too far-fetched. There's no way this could be a believable piece of procedural fiction distilled into 47 minutes in NBC's prime time line-up. But it's happening in real life, and we're all here to witness it.
Everyone is a winner here. Except for Alex Jones. I don't think he's in a great mood right now.