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Alex Jones, Under Questioning, Is Confronted With Evidence of Deception

AUSTIN, Texas — In a brutal cross-examination on Wednesday in the trial of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, an attorney for Sandy Hook parents produced text messages from Mr. Jones’ cell phone showing that he had withheld important evidence in defamation lawsuits which had been filed by the families for lies he had spread about the 2012 school shooting.

The messages, which were apparently wrongly sent to family lawyers by family counsel, revealed that he had also been warned about the posting of a false report about the coronavirus by an employee who suspected the possible fabrication of “another Sandy Hook” mentioned.

Jones acknowledged the employee’s concerns, but the false report remained live on his Infowars website on Wednesday.

“Do you know what perjury is?” the family’s attorney, Mark Bankston, asked Mr. Jones, who indicated he did.

The text messages were important because Mr. Jones had claimed for years that he had searched his phone for texts about the Sandy Hook cases and found none.

Mr Bankston, an attorney for Sandy Hook parents Scarlett Lewis and Neil Heslin, also revealed new evidence that Mr Jones had failed to produce court-ordered documents regarding lies he was spreading about the mass shooting and its victims. He also presented financial records that contradicted Mr Jones’ allegation that he was bankrupt, and clips from his broadcast defaming the judge and jury in the case.

Mr. Jones lost four defamation cases last year brought against him by the families of 10 victims of the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., where a gunman killed 20 first-graders and six teachers.

Mr. Jones lost those cases by default after nearly four years of litigation during which he failed to produce documents and testimony ordered by courts in Texas and Connecticut. That triggered three lawsuits for damages; the one in Austin this week is the first.

During his testimony on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, Mr. Jones continued to insist that he had complied with court orders to submit documents and testimony in the run-up to the defamation trials. In fact, by default, his losses stemmed from his failure to produce those materials.

The judge admonished Mr Jones and his attorney, F. Andino Reynal, after the Infowars fabulist lied about the case under oath on Tuesday. The judge also reprimanded Mr Jones for telling the jury he was bankrupt when his bankruptcy filing was due to be reviewed last week; the family’s lawyers said it was his latest attempt to delay upcoming compensation proceedings.

In court on Wednesday, Mr. Bankston produced financial data showing that Mr. Jones made a staggering $800,000 a day in sales for the past several years by selling nutritional supplements, weaponry and survival equipment in advertisements on his broadcasts.

Mr. Bankston also produced clips from Mr. Jones’ Infowars, in which he broadcast a copy of a photo of the judge in the case of Mrs. Lewis and Mr. Heslin, Maya Guerra Gamble, engulfed in flames.

“That’s justice,” Mr. Jones said to Mr. Bankston.

In another broadcast, Infowars falsely linked the judge to pedophilia; in another place, Mr. Jones questioned the intelligence of the jurors in the case, suggesting that his political enemies had “manual workers” handpicked people ill-equipped to decide what monetary damages to give to Mrs. Lewis and Mr. Heslin. had to pay. In written questions submitted to Mr. Jones, the jurors responded immediately.

“Do you know that this jury is made up of 16 intelligent, honest citizens who are not inappropriately influenced in any way?” one wrote to Mr Jones.

“I don’t think you’re cops,” Mr. Jones replied.

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