The federal court system is continuing to deliver accountability for the most rabid conspirators on the far right. Prominent conspiracy theorist and Trump supporting right wing hack Alex Jones has now been hit with an additional over $100,000 in fines as part of a defamation lawsuit that the family of a victim of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting brought against him. Jones has faced legal action from those families and their allies over his past suggestions that the Sandy Hook shooting, whose anniversary just recently passed, was a staged, fake event populated by “crisis actors.”
In October, Jones had already been ordered to pay around $26,000 in fines in the same case, bringing the total in fines before the case even goes to trial to some $126,000. The latest fines were levied by Travis County, Texas Judge Scott Jenkins largely over Jones’ team’s flouting of a court order demanding documents and witnesses. That ruling included a fine of $65,825 covering sanctions and legal fees for Jones’s opponents, and that same day, Jenkins also hit Jones with a $34,323.80 fine in response to a motion from Jones and InfoWars to dismiss the case.
Lawyer Mark Bankston, who is representing plantiff Mark Heslin in the case, whose son was killed in the Sandy Hook shooting, commented:
‘It’s hardly a surprise that someone like Alex Jones would soon find himself in contempt of court, but now he is learning there are severe consequences to his utter disrespect for this process… If Mr. Jones had simply accepted responsibility for his reckless lies and years of illegal harassment, this all could have been avoided. Instead, Mr. Jones seems to prefer exiting into the dustbin of history in the most expensive and embarrassing way possible.’
Heslin’s team filed an early December motion against Jones over mishandling the case through means including sending someone as a corporate representative who did not actually have much information to provide about why the website had called Sandy Hook parents “crisis actors,” and the plantiff’s team also pointed to InfoWars apparently failing to preserve social media posts and internal messages, including those covering the crisis actor claims and the process behind their development.
Jones is also being sued in Connecticut by other families of the Sandy Hook shooting, and his side has “repeatedly changed lawyers in those cases, prompting complaints from plaintiffs that the outlet is slowing down the legal process,” the Daily Beast notes.
Jones was pressed about his Sandy Hook lies in a 2017 interview with Megyn Kelly, but he refused to admit that he was wrong to cast doubt on the well documented, horrifying incident. Besides claiming that he was simply playing “devil’s advocate” in casting doubt on the shooting, he commented about the video coverage of the aftermath:
‘Some of it looks like it’s real but then what do you do when they’ve got the kids going in circles in and out of the building with their hands up. I’ve watched the footage. That looks like a drill.’
In reality, whether or not something happened is not dependent upon whether or not it fits the notions of a frenzied right wing conspiracy nut. In the time since, he’s suggested that a “form of psychosis” underlined his claims.