A Monday CNN report revealed the House committee investigating the Capitol riot received the roughly two years worth of texts from Alex Jones’s phone that were revealed in court during a Texas trial over financial penalties for Jones because of lies he told about the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
Those texts, along with other contents from Jones’s phone, were accidentally provided by the far-right media figure’s legal team to the side of those challenging Jones in court. Andino Reynal, an attorney for Jones in the case, pushed for the declaration of a mistrial after the texts came up, but the judge handling the proceedings, Maya Guerra Gamble, declined that push, as she’d rejected similar, past efforts at a mistrial from Jones’s corner. Mark Bankston, an attorney for the Sandy Hook parents who went against Jones at trial in Texas, only revealed the existence of the texts after Reynal failed to take any legal action to shield the contents of the device from further scrutiny. Bankston confirmed relatively early on that the House panel examining January 6 was interested in Jones’s texts and messages, but it wasn’t previously clear whether the committee obtained the materials yet.
Jones appeared for testimony to the committee, but it’s unclear how effective that testimony was in terms of panel investigators actually obtaining information they sought. Jones later stated that he repeatedly invoked the Fifth Amendment. According to the CNN report, which uses revelations from a source who goes unnamed in the coverage, Bankston provided the materials from Jones’s phone to the riot panel. The attorney previously indicated he intended to comply with the House riot committee’s requests absent any court order stopping him, and despite pushes from Jones’s side for a block on the phone messages getting out, Gamble declined to issue any kind of blanket order stopping a further examination of the device’s contents. Gamble directed the plaintiffs’ side to destroy any medical records in the phone’s contents, which was already done.
“That is not my job. I’m not going to do that,” Gamble remarked of the prospect of intervening in Bankston’s interactions with Congress. Separately, Bankston already indicated that messages with Roger Stone were among the items obtained from Jones’s phone, providing a clue about potential lines of inquiry available to the riot panel in the device’s contents. Jones also holds personal connections to Stewart Rhodes, the founder of the violent, far-right organization known as the Oath Keepers, who’s charged with seditious conspiracy tied to the Capitol riot and is a repeat guest on Jones’s conspiracy theory-driven programming. Discussing Jones, committee member Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) said Sunday: “Well, we know that his behavior did incentivize some of the January 6 conduct and we want to know more about that… We don’t know what we’ll find in the texts because we haven’t seen them. But we’ll look at it and learn more, I’m sure.”
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