On Wednesday, infamous conspiracy theorist Alex Jones took the stand to testify in the defamation suit against him brought by parents of children slain in the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting. In a twist that felt pulled from a movie script, a lawyer for the parents—who are suing Jones for spreading lies that the massacre was faked—said Jones’ lawyers accidentally sent him the entire contents of Jones’ phone nearly two weeks ago.
Mark Bankston, the parents’ lawyer, was in the middle of questioning Jones about emails Jones has sent and received about the shooting over the years. When Jones said that he simply couldn’t find any emails about Sandy Hook—even though one was literally being shown on-screen in the courtroom—Bankston proceeded to read him for filth:
Twelve days ago, your attorneys messed up and sent me an entire digital copy of your entire cell phone of every text you’ve sent for the past two years. And when informed, did not take any steps to identify it as privileged or protected in any way. As of 12 days ago, it fell free and clear into my possession. That is how I know you lied to me when you said you didn’t have the text messages about Sandy Hook. Did you know that?
Jones continued to deny wrongdoing and claimed, “If I was mistaken, I was mistaken.”
Bankston responded: “You know what perjury is, right?”
Jones was visibly shocked to learn about his lawyer’s gaffe, which also revealed details of InfoWars’ finances just days before Jones filed for bankruptcy. Per the emails and texts Bankston received, at varying points in 2018—the year that InfoWars was widely deplatformed—the company was raking in $800,000 per day.
During a recess, Bankston was reportedly caught on hot mic saying, “You know what nobody’s thought about yet? What happens when that phone goes to law enforcement.”
The revelation came the day after parents testified about how Jones’ conspiracy theories have ruined their lives.
“I can’t even describe the past nine-and-a-half years of hell I have had to endure because of the negligence and recklessness of Alex Jones and the propaganda he has peddled for his own profits and success,” one father of a 6-year-old Sandy Hook victim said. He recalled having his car and house shot at, as he and other parents testified that they’ve faced an onslaught of harassment and death threats from Jones’ massive base of supporters.
On Tuesday, Jones didn’t appear in court until after their testimony, and almost came to blows with the parents’ lawyer when he tried to shake their hands. “We’re not doing this,” the parents’ lawyer said, shutting him down.
Jones maintains that he isn’t responsible for the harm inflicted on the Sandy Hook parents because, he claims, the conspiracy theory didn’t originate with him. However, as one parent pointed out on Tuesday, Jones’ massive platform is to blame no matter what: “[Jones] is the one who lit the match and started the fire.”
Lawyers for the plaintiffs are seeking up to $150 million in damages.