Another Defamation Trial Against Alex Jones To Move Forward

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After a federal bankruptcy court judge declined to transfer the matter to bankruptcy court amid claims of financial hardship at Alex Jones’s company Free Speech Systems, the conspiracy theorist and far-right figurehead is now facing a second trial dealing with the imposition of financial penalties for his lies about the reality of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012.

As summarized by the Associated Press, the presentation of evidence to the six-member jury in the new trial, which is taking place in Connecticut, is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, and the trial is expected under current circumstances to last for about four weeks. The first trial covering similar ground, which took place in Texas, ended with Jones facing nearly $50 million in financial penalties, although the appeals process evidently isn’t concluded. During the earlier proceedings, a lawyer for the plaintiffs revealed he was accidentally provided a copy of the contents of the entirety of Jones’s phone, stretching across time periods relevant to the case — and showing that claims Jones didn’t possess any texts related to Sandy Hook were false. The lawyer, Mark Bankston, only brought up the materials in court after Jones’s defense failed to launch any kind of substantive legal action to shield the phone.

Per the Associated Press, the new trial — for which jury selection was temporarily halted amid the bankruptcy claims covering Free Speech Systems — follows the consolidation of three lawsuits from 15 plaintiffs, a group that includes family members of nine of the victims of the shooting and a former FBI agent who was involved in responding to the scene as it unfolded. The issues faced by individuals with personal connections to Sandy Hook as Jones spread his lies are extremely serious. In the Texas case, the parents who brought the legal challenge outlined in court how they were confronted in person — including at a family home on Christmas by someone who showed up and was taking photos. The Connecticut case, in which Jones was already found liable for damages after he failed to appropriately comply with requirements for handing over various materials, hinged on claims of defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and violations of Connecticut’s Unfair Trade Practices Act.

Under the last measure, there’s reportedly no formal limit on the amount of financial penalties for violators. Claims related to that law are founded in Jones making money through viewers’ purchases as he lied about Sandy Hook. During the forthcoming Connecticut trial, both the relatives of victims and Jones himself are set to testify. Jones faced push-back from the judge in the recent Texas proceedings after he claimed on the stand he complied with the requirements in the discovery process and that he was bankrupt, something not yet formally determined. “Mr. Jones, you may not say to this jury that you complied with discovery,” the judge told Jones. “That is not true. You may not say it again. You may not tell this jury that you are bankrupt. That is also not true… You are already under oath to tell the truth… You’ve already violated that oath twice today, in just those two examples. It seems absurd to instruct you again that you must tell the truth while you testify. Yet here I am again… This is not your show.” Jones is facing a third pending trial in Texas also covering potential financial penalties for his lies.