Alex Jones' lawyer accidentally sent the contents of Jones' phone, revealing InfoWars' financials and texts he claimed didn't exist: Sandy Hook parents' attorney
- An attorney for Sandy parents said Alex Jones' defense attorney "messed up" and sent him a digital copy of Jones' cell phone.
- The copy of Jones' phone revealed a text about the 2012 massacre that Jones claimed did not exist, lawyer Mark Bankston said.
Alex Jones' defense attorney's "messed up" and sent a digital copy of the far-right conspiracy theorist's cell phone to the lawyer for the Sandy Hook parents who have sued him for defamation, the parents' lawyer said in court on Wednesday.
The copy of Jones' phone revealed a text about the 2012 Newtown, Connecticut, massacre that Jones claimed did not exist, as well as financial information for Jones' InfoWars that Jones didn't turn over during deposition in that case.
Attorney Mark Bankston — who is representing Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, the parents of a boy killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting — announced in a Texas courtroom that Jones' lawyers sent him an "entire digital copy" of Jones' cell phone "with every text message you've sent for the past two years" twelve days ago.
Bankston said that when he "informed" Jones' legal team about what they did, they "did not take any steps to identify it as privileged or protected in any way."
"That is how I know you lied to me when you said you didn't have text messages about Sandy Hook," Bankston told Jones as Jones was on the witness stand testifying in his own defense during his defamation damages trial.
Bankston accused Jones of lying during his deposition when he claimed he did not have messages about Sandy Hook on his phone.
"You know what perjury is, right? I just want to make sure you know before we go any further," Bankston asked Jones.
Jones testified that he didn't see the text messages mentioning Sandy Hook and that he gave everything that he could find to his lawyer.
"I'm not a tech guy," Jones said from the witness stand as he claimed he "didn't lie."
Bankston also asked Jones about messages showing that InfoWars made as much as $800,000 per day in 2018, financial information that wasn't provided in the deposition.
While discussing the revelation with the jury, the judge overseeing the case said: "What the lawyer's say isn't evidence, so we don't know whether it was on accident or on purpose, because we don't have evidence about that.
"But what we do know is that it was not properly turned over when it should have been," Travis County District Court Judge Maya Guerra Gamble told the court.
After the testimony and court took a break, Jones left the courtroom with his lawyer, who later returned to court on the phone and spoke with Bankston to confirm it was a digital copy of Jones' phone.
Meanwhile, Bankston mused out loud, saying, "There's going to be months of fallout from this."
"You know what no one's thought about yet?" he asked. "What happens when that phone goes to law enforcement?"
Heslin and Lewis, the parents of 6-year-old Jesse Lewis have sued Jones, the founder of InfoWars, and his media company Free Speech Systems, for defamation over his falsehoods about the 2012 mass shooting that left 20 first-graders and six educators dead.
The parents, who testified in the trial, said they've endured years of harassment and death threats stemming from Jones repeatedly telling his audience that the shooting was a "giant hoax" staged by the government with "crisis actors."
Jones testified on Wednesday that he believes the mass shooting was "100% real."
He has already been found liable for defamation by the Texas court and a court in Connecticut for his depiction of the rampage — the deadliest school shooting in American history.
The jury in the trial will determine how much money Jones must pay to Heslin and Lewis, who are seeking $150 million in compensatory damages.
Jones testified on Wednesday that InfoWars' revenue for the most recent fiscal year was $70 million and that the website employs around 80 workers and contractors.
"Any compensation above $2 million will sink us and we will shut down," Jones told the jury before the judge interrupted him and said he was going off-topic.
Jones then demurred, saying compensation for the Sandy Hook parents should be whatever the jury decides is appropriate.
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