Alex Jones learns on witness stand that lawyers sent his text messages to rival attorney
While being cross-examined at his defamation trial in Austin, Texas, on Wednesday, Alex Jones was informed that his attorneys accidentally sent two years of text messages from his cellphone to a lawyer for the Sandy Hook parents suing him — and then failed to note that the messages were protected under attorney-client privilege.
Mark Bankston, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, presented a text message about Sandy Hook that Bankston said came from Jones’s cellphone.
“Do you know where I got this?” Bankston asked Jones.
“No,” Jones replied.
Bankston explained: “Twelve days ago, your attorneys messed up and sent me an entire digital copy of your entire cellphone with every text message that you’ve sent for the past two years — and when informed, did not take any steps to identify it as privileged or protected.”
In a pretrial deposition, Jones had testified under oath that he had searched his phone for text messages about Sandy Hook in preparation for the trial and found none.
“That is how I know you lied to me when you said you didn’t have any text messages about Sandy Hook,” Bankston told Jones. “Did you know this?”
Jones said he did not, and that he had given his phone to his attorneys.
"I guess this is your 'Perry Mason' moment," he added.
"You know what perjury is, right?" Bankston asked.
“Yes, I do,” Jones replied. “I mean, I’m not a tech guy.”
The dramatic exchange came during cross-examination of Jones on the second day of his testimony.
Earlier Wednesday, Jones sought to portray himself as a victim who had been “typecast” for claiming that the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., was staged.
Jones, the only witness called by his defense team, began by complaining about media outlets that refuse to report that he now believes that the massacre, which left 20 children and six educators dead, actually happened.
“It's 100% real,” Jones said under direct questioning from his lawyer F. Andino Reynal.
The concession came a day after Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, the parents of Jesse Lewis, a 6-year-old boy killed at Sandy Hook, told the jury that false claims that the attack did not occur have made their lives a “living hell.”
Heslin and Lewis are suing Jones and his media company Free Speech Systems for $150 million for the harassment they've received as a result of the unfounded conspiracy theory spread by Jones and his guests on Infowars, a far-right website that hosts talk shows and other content.
Jones was asked by Reynal to explain what he now thinks about the massacre in Newtown.
“I think Sandy Hook happened. I think it was a terrible event,” he said, before adding: “I think it was a cover-up. The FBI knew it was going to happen.”
Under cross-examination, Bankston peppered Jones with questions about statements that have been made on Infowars during the trial, including the suggestion that Judge Maya Guerra Gamble is rigging the proceedings with an actual script, and that Gamble is somehow involved in a pedophilia ring.
Bankston asked Jones if such statements were evidence that he is taking the trial seriously.
“I think this is serious as cancer,” Jones replied.
Bankston also asked Jones about other mass tragedies that he has claimed were "false flag" events, including the mass shootings in Las Vegas, Parkland, Fla., and Sutherland Springs, Texas, and the Boston Marathon bombings.
As was the case during Jones's testimony on Tuesday, Gamble repeatedly reminded him to answer only the questions he was asked.
“This is not your show,” the judge said.
The case is now in the hands of the jury. Deliberations are scheduled to resume on Thursday morning.
During closing arguments, Reynal said that lawyers for the plaintiffs did not show the entire amount of Infowars video footage entered into evidence — about 8 hours — and instead presented just 9 minutes to the jury.
In their rebuttal, Kyle Farrar, an attorney for the parents, said that was by design, and that the lawyers chose not to play for the jury video segments unrelated to Sandy Hook.
“Why would I play you his conspiracy theories about frogs being gay? Why would I play that to you?” Farrar asked, adding: "Nobody wants to see that."