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In a Friday court filing, attorneys for relatives of the victims of the Sandy Hook, Conn. school massacre pushed back against comments made by Infowars host Alex Jones outside a long-sought (and delayed) deposition this week.
“The Court’s contempt fines were effective,” the plaintiffs’ attorneys wrote. “Mr. Jones sat for deposition on April 5-6.”
But he also showed up with a film crew and spoke to the press, the plaintiffs’ attorneys said — and they wrote that they sought to set the record straight.
The deposition had been scheduled for March 24 and 25 in Texas, but Jones backed out due to health concerns. He sat and talked on the aforementioned April dates in Connecticut this week after a judge held him in contempt of court and ordered escalating fines beginning at $25,000 each day for every weekday Jones failed to appear. Jones’s attorneys unsuccessfully asked a Connecticut judge to pause the schedule of fines, and the Connecticut Supreme Court declined to take up the matter in an immediate appeal.
During what appeared to be a lunch break in the April 6 deposition, Jones railed against “cancel culture” and seemed to blame his legal woes in part on the “corporate media” in a brief speech before a local television crew and one of his own cameras. The “media,” he said, failed to adequately cover his apologies to the Sandy Hook families; he also accused the Sandy Hook plaintiffs of launching a “war” against the First Amendment. He further claimed “powerful Democrat law firms” were trying to “shut down Infowars and Alex Jones.” The latter appeared to be a quip against one of the plaintiffs’ attorneys, who is also an elected politician and the son of U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D).
At the beginning of his verbal missive, Jones declined to discuss what was being said in the actual deposition.
“We can’t get into what’s happening inside there because right now they’ve marked the deposition as confidential, and so have we,” Jones said in recorded comments to News12 Connecticut reporter Marissa Alter.
JUST IN: Here’s what Alex Jones had to say regarding his deposition in Bridgeport today where he’s being questioned by lawyers for the families of Sandy Hook victims. A judge had ordered he be fined until he appeared. @News12CT pic.twitter.com/hSSLaZ5AEH
— Marissa Alter (@MarissaAlter) April 6, 2022
The plaintiffs’ attorneys said Jones was wrong on the facts: they say it was Jones, not them, who sought to close the deposition from the public.
“Mr. Jones’s contempt for fairness and the Court’s authority continues,” the plaintiffs indicated via their Friday motion. “Mr. Jones is now abusing the Court’s protective order by designating the entire deposition as confidential, even as he and his attorney publicly disclose their version of what happened at his deposition in a cynical effort to shape public opinion around his false claim that this litigation [is] part of a larger plot to attack the First Amendment.”
The Friday filing continued by recapping what Jones allegedly said about the matter (legal citations omitted):
At the conclusion of the first day of his deposition, Mr. Jones, who brought a film crew to Connecticut, filmed and uploaded a video to Infowars.com in which he and his counsel discussed what was asked at the deposition and their view of the purpose of the questioning. Mr. Jones described his deposition as “just next-level, like a hallucination or something. They start out with demonizing me that I believe in a new world order and a global government . . . ” The plaintiffs cannot respond to this because Mr. Jones designated the transcript confidential. After describing at length why in his view he is the true victim in this case, Mr. Jones stated that he had his attorney here, to “break down and talk about some of what happened today, because people really want to know about this . . . ”
It was a long and difficult day . . . . Alex was asked a series of questions, not as many of them about Sandy Hook as I would have expected. There were questions about events unrelated to Sandy Hook, and it struck me as a broad, wholesale attack on Mr. Jones’s and Infowars’s questioning of narratives. It struck me that the attack here was not on behalf of the parents of Sandy Hook but on behalf of people far, far different . . . I heard questions about a reporter, Dan Bidondi, a former reporter, who asked questions of public officials . . . Alex wasn’t perfect today, but he did a good job . . . .
“Again, the plaintiffs cannot respond to this because of Mr. Jones’s confidentiality designation,” the plaintiffs’ attorneys wrote.
Then came the direct reference to the lunch break comments to News12.
“It is false that the plaintiffs claimed Mr. Jones’s deposition as confidential pursuant to the protective order,” the plaintiffs continued. “Only Mr. Jones has done that, and it was done over the plaintiffs’ objection.”
Put another way, the plaintiffs say the only person who subjected Alex Jones to cancel culture with regards to the deposition was Alex Jones.
They went on at length on this point:
Mr. Jones is using the confidentiality designation available to him through the Court’s protective order as a sword and a shield. He is using the protective order to hide what really happened in his deposition for as long as possible, while at the same time disclosing his version of the deposition to his audience. When Mr. Jones’s counsel claimed the designation, the plaintiffs indicated to him that the designation was made in bad faith. Mr. Jones persists in the designation. These actions are an abuse of process and a further sign of his ongoing contempt.
The plaintiffs cannot further discuss the content of the Alex Jones April 5-6 deposition in this public filing because of Mr. Jones’s bad faith claim of confidentiality. The plaintiffs note that the Jones defendants have not submitted those transcripts to the Court to support their position that Mr. Jones’s contempt is purged. And, as noted in Mr. Jones’s supplemental filing, Mr. Jones’s deposition is not yet complete.
White the plaintiffs’ attorneys noted that there “is no dispute” that the contempt fines levied against Jones “were potentially subject to reimbursement,” they urged the court not to immediately refund the money received.
“[T]here is no reason for the Court to act on an emergent basis to address that issue, given that it was Mr. Jones’s defiance of Court orders that caused the need for fines in the first place, that Mr. Jones continues to abuse process, and that the Jones defendants have not submitted the transcripts of the deposition to the Court,” the plaintiffs wrote.
Immediately after Jones decried the media for failing to cover him and around the time Pattis was allegedly appearing on Infowars, Cameron Atkinson, who also represents Jones, replied to a Law&Crime request for comment about the deposition by saying neither he (Atkinson) nor Pattis would supply “material” for a Law&Crime “hit piece.”
According to Connecticut court records, the families of the Sandy Hook victims collectively sued Jones for invasion of privacy by false light (civil conspiracy), defamation and defamation per se (civil conspiracy), intentional infliction of emotional distress (civil conspiracy), negligent infliction of emotional distress (civil conspiracy), and violations of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act.
The lawsuit accused Jones of stirring up “false narratives about the Sandy Hook shooting and is victims” and of promoting “harassment and abuse” against the surviving families. It also accused Jones of engaging “in the perpetuation and propagation of [an] outrageous, deeply painful, and defamatory lie in the face of a mountain of evidence to the contrary, and with no supporting evidence” that the December 2014 shooting by Adam Lanza was, perhaps, a “hoax.”
According to the Connecticut Post, Jones used the words “staged,” “synthetic,” “manufactured,” “a giant hoax,” and “completely fake with actors” to describe the Sandy Hook shooting and/or the events surrounding it.
“Alex Jones does not in fact believe that the Sandy Hook Shooting was a hoax — and he never has,” the plaintiffs’ lawsuit carefully argued. “Nevertheless, time and again, Jones has accused Sandy Hook families, who are readily identifiable, of faking their loved ones’ deaths, and insisted that the children Killed that day are actually alive.”
The Friday filing by the plaintiffs’ attorneys appears to be a response to a previous defense filing that was covered in full by Law&Crime on Wednesday. That filing, in part, asked the court to return the fees submitted by Jones for his failure to appear for the deposition as originally scheduled.
A judge on Nov. 15, 2021 ruled that Jones failed to produce evidence sought by the defense during discovery and entered a default judgment against Jones — thus depriving him of the chance to fight the defamation allegations against him in a head-on manner. A jury will be assembled to assess damages only, the judge indicated.
The ongoing Connecticut court fight came as the Norwalk, Conn. News-Times and the Austin-American Statesman in Texas both reported that Jones was sued anew this week by other Sandy Hook parents who won separate defamation lawsuits against the Infowars host in Texas last year. The new Texas lawsuit, according to those reports, accuses Jones of having “transferred millions of dollars from his fortune” to avoid paying up to those plaintiffs. The lawsuit reportedly accuses Jones of trying to “divert his assets to shell companies owned by insiders like his parents, his children, and himself,” the News-Times said.
Pattis told the Associated Press that the suggestion that Jones tried to hide assets was “ridiculous,” according to a separate report.
Read the Friday filing from Connecticut regarding this week’s deposition below:
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