The Texas Secretary of State, a Republican named John Scott, criticized far-right commentator and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones in a newly available interview with a state publication called Texas Monthly.
Although Jones is currently in the middle of facing a series of trials over the imposition of financial damages connected to lies he told about the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut in 2012, the reality of which he undercut with ludicrous and delusional conspiracy theories about crisis actors and the like, Scott was discussing threats to election workers. Across the country, including in Texas, individuals involved at essentially every level of the electoral process have faced threats — as have people in the private sector, such as staff members at Dominion Voting Systems, which has pointed to over half a million in security costs following the last presidential election. Dominion, of course, prominently figured in numerous conspiracy theories about the 2020 presidential race, and the company is now suing various right-wing interests for defamation.
“Any time the temperature gets turned up, it’s possible to have nuts making these statements,” Scott said, discussing the source of threats. “At least in our office, what I was told is that these threats long preceded the 2020 election. The Infowars guy has unleashed hell on our election people. This has been going on for many years. And I don’t want to give a free pass to people who are crazy enough to go out there and say they’re going to kill somebody because they’re doing their job. I don’t want to give them an excuse — ”Oh, well, it’s because somebody said something.” No, that behavior is unacceptable under any scenario. Just because somebody said something, or they saw something on TV, that doesn’t excuse it.”
Jones’s main company, Free Speech Systems, was the subject of semi-recent bankruptcy filings, over which Jones tried to get his second defamation damages trial moved to bankruptcy court. That trial ended up moving forward in the previously planned venue. During proceedings, Jones became enraged on the stand under questioning, ranting that he was through with apologies. Later, his defense didn’t call any of their own witnesses or present any evidence, and now he could seemingly face millions and millions in damages. One of the claims over which the jury was deliberating deals with deceptive trade practices, and there are apparently no legal limits under the relevant Connecticut state laws to the damages potentially imposed in connection to that claim. Meanwhile, Scott’s team has been conducting a 2020 election audit targeting four counties in the state, and a second round of results from that investigation is scheduled for release later this year. Initial results showed no widespread fraud — as did all other credible investigations conducted around the country.