WASHINGTON — The attorney for plaintiffs indicting conspiracy theorist Alex Jones said on Thursday that he plans to pass two years worth of text messages from Mr. Jones’ phone to the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on investigating the Capitol.
The attorney, Mark Bankston, who represents Sandy Hook’s parents who are suing Mr. Jones in defamation lawsuits over lies he spread about the 2012 school shooting, said in court in Austin, Texas, that he plans to was to hand over the lyrics unless a judge told him not to.
“I certainly intend to, unless you tell me not to,” said Mr. Bankston to judge Maya Guerra Gamble, who appeared to be unsympathetic to requests from Mr. Jones for Mr. Bankston to return the material to them.
When lawyers raised the possibility that the texts could be subpoenaed by the committee, the judge replied: ‘They are going to do that now. They know about it.”
A person familiar with the work of the House committee said the panel had been in contact with plaintiffs’ attorneys about obtaining material from Mr. Jones’ phone.
Understand the business against Alex Jones
A united front. Alex Jones, a far-right conspiracy theorist, is the focus of a long-running legal battle waged by families of victims of a mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in 2012. Here’s what you need to know:
Mr Bankston said in court that Mr Jones’ lawyers accidentally sent him text messages from Mr Jones while trying to defend him in court for broadcasting conspiracy theories that the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax and that the families were actors.
Mr. Bankston said they recorded lyrics with political associate Roger J. Stone Jr. Mr Bankston said he had heard about the material from “various federal and law enforcement agencies”.
“Things like Mr. Jones and his intimate messages with Roger Stone are not confidential. They are not trade secrets,” said Mr. Bankston.
The House Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol has been pushing for months to obtain Mr. Jones’s texts, saying they may be relevant to understanding Mr. Jones’s role in helping organize the meeting on the Ellipse near the White House before the riots. In November, the panel filed subpoenas to enforce Mr Jones’ testimony and communications relating to Jan. 6, including his phone records.
The commission also issued a subpoena for the communications of Timothy D. Enlow, who worked as a bodyguard for Mr. Jones on Jan. 6.
In response, Mr. Jones and Mr. Enlow filed a lawsuit in an effort to block the commission’s subpoenas. Mr Jones finally appeared before the panel in January and went on to say he had invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination nearly 100 times.
“I just had a very intense experience when I was questioned by the lawyers of the Jan. 6 committee,” he said at the time. “They were polite, but they were insistent.”
Although Mr. Jones declined to share information with the committee, he said the investigators appeared to have found ways around his lack of cooperation. He said the committee had already received text messages from him.
“They’ve got everything already on my phones and stuff,” he said. “I saw my text messages” with political organizers linked to the January 6 demonstration.
According to the Jan. 6 commission, Mr. Jones facilitated a donation from Julie Jenkins Fancelli, the heiress to the Publix Super Markets fortune, to provide what he described as “80 percent” of the funding for the Jan. 6 rally and indicated that White House officials told him he would lead a march to the Capitol, where Mr. Trump would speak.
Mr. Jones and Mr. Stone were among the group of Trump allies who gathered in and around, or stayed at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel, which was treated as a war chamber by some Trump advisers for their efforts to induce members of Congress to object to the College certification election, which took place when the riot engulfed the building.
Mr. Jones conducted an interview with Michael T. Flynn, who briefly served as Mr. Trump’s national security adviser, from the Willard on Jan. 5, in which the men spread the false story of a stolen election.
The next day, Mr. Jones seen among the crowd of Trump supporters, bolstering false claims, but also sometimes urging the crowd to be peaceful. Among those who marched to the Capitol alongside him was Ali Alexander, a promoter of the “Stop the Steal” effort who has also been subpoenaed.
“The White House told me three days earlier, ‘We’ll let you lead the march,'” Mr Jones said on his internet show the day after the riots. “Trump will tell people, ‘Go, and I’m going to meet you at the Capitol.'”