Connecticut judge orders Alex Jones to turn over some Infowars financial documents to Sandy Hook families
By Dave Altimari
January 11, 2019 at 5:19 PM
A Superior Court judge ruled Friday that Alex Jones must turn over some financial and marketing documents related to his Infowars empire to the parents of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims who are suing him for calling the 2012 massacre at the school a hoax.
Among the documents to which Judge Barbara Bellis granted the families access are business and marketing plans for Infowars, contracts between Infowars and organizations such as Facebook and Twitter, and all communications and/or documents, including letters, memos, emails, text messages, instant messenger logs, regarding Sandy Hook, crisis actors, shooter Adam Lanza and mass shootings.
“From the beginning, we have alleged that Alex Jones and his financial network trafficked in lies and hate in order to profit from the grief of Sandy Hook families. That is what we intend to prove, and today’s ruling advances our effort,” attorney Christopher Mattei said Friday in a statement. “We look forward to gaining access to Infowars’ internal marketing and financial documents to show that Jones has built an empire as nothing more than a conspiracy profiteer, as alleged in our complaint.”
Mattei, of the law firm Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder, is representing the six families and a former FBI agent who are suing Jones and his company. The plaintiffs include the parents of four children killed at the Newtown school — Jacqueline and Mark Barden, parents of Daniel; Nicole and Ian Hockley, parents of Dylan; Francine and David Wheeler, parents of Ben; and Jennifer Hensel and Jeremy Richman, parents of Avielle Richman. Other plaintiffs are the relatives of slain first-grade teacher Victoria Leigh Soto; Erica Lafferty-Garbatini, the daughter of slain Principal Dawn Hochsprung; and William Aldenberg, a longtime FBI agent and a first responder to the scene.
The lawsuit alleges a years-long campaign of “abusive and outrageous false statements in which Jones and the other defendants have developed, amplified and perpetuated claims that the Sandy Hook massacre was staged and that the 26 families who lost loved ones that day are paid actors who faked their relatives’ deaths,” the suit said.
The lawsuit alleges that Jones began a sustained attack that lasted for years, accusing shattered family members of being actors, stating as fact that the shooting itself was a hoax and inciting others to act on these malicious lies. It also alleges that Jones knew the claims were false but kept perpetuating them because it was good for his ratings, drew advertisers and made him money.
In court filings, Mattei has said that the financial documents will reveal how much money Jones has made and that the marketing documents will show how he used to hoax theory to sell his radio show.
Attorney Jay Wolman, who is representing Jones, has asked Bellis to dismiss the lawsuit, claiming Jones is protected under the First Amendment. In court filings, he has compared Jones to the likes of Watergate journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.
Bellis is the same judge who dismissed a lawsuit by Sandy Hook parents against Remington, the maker of the AR-15 that Lanza used in the massacre. The parents appealed that ruling to the state Supreme Court and are awaiting a decision.
Bellis didn’t rule on whether Jones and other members of his team can be deposed. She has scheduled a hearing for next week to discuss that issue and place parameters on questioning of Jones if she allows depositions. She also hasn’t ruled on the defendants’ motion to dismiss the case.
Two other Sandy Hook families filed lawsuits in Texas, where Jones’ Infowars show is based, last April. Neil Heslin, the father of slain student Jesse Lewis, and Leonard Pozner and Veronique De La Rosa, whose son, Noah Pozner died in the massacre, filed separate lawsuits in Travis County, Texas, using basically the same arguments. A judge in Texas already has denied a motion by Jones to dismiss those lawsuits
Jones had said on his radio show the day the April lawsuit was filed that the Sandy Hook victims are being manipulated by Democrats and those who want to destroy the Second Amendment.
“I ask the families of Sandy Hook victims to actually admit that I have invited you on for years and admit that I have said for years that it really happened, and if I have caused you any pain by debating both sides of it I am sorry for your pain, but this is a big public event that has been seized on politically to take our rights,” Jones said.