Alex Jones, the disinformation disseminator, InfoWars host, and human incarnation of a burst blood vessel, is facing yet another defamation trial—this time (once again) in Texas, where InfoWars is based. The civil trial began Tuesday, and is meant to determine how much money in damages Jones owes to parents of victims killed in the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.
On Monday, Jones’ lawyer hinted that the defendant would likely be absent from the beginning of the trial because of unspecified “medical issues,” according to the Washington Post. However, he showed up to the first day of trial proceedings, nevertheless. And the beet-faced blowhard quickly proceeded to piss off the judge.
“This is a kangaroo court. This is a political action. It’s a witch hunt,” Jones said to reporters during a short trial recess before stomping away. The exchange was captured on video and posted on Twitter by Fox 7 Austin reporter, Bridget Spencer.
Jones was quick reprimanded by the trial judge for speaking to the media. “We’re not going to have that again,” said District Judge Maya Gamble, according to CNN reporter, Oliver Darcy. “Every participant in this trial…is ordered to be silent out of this courtroom, or if there is any member of the jury in sight.”
A noted, far-right conspiracy theorist, Jones has propagated all sorts of unfounded, dangerous, and frankly bonkers ideas across the internet. From “the water is turning the frogs gay” rant that got memed and remixed on YouTube, to claim that extreme weather is being caused by government weapons. Arguably the most harmful and widespread of his conspiracies, though, is that the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax reliant on “crisis actors” to fabricate a national tragedy.
Twenty-six people, including 20 young children, were killed at Sandy Hook. Obviously, for the parents of those very real victims, Jones’ disinformation campaign caused immense suffering. Some surviving parents faced harassment and threats from Jones’ fanbase that seeped from the internet into their real lives—even forcing them to relocate.
F. Andino Reynal, Jones’ defense attorney, told the jury that his client “has apologized repeatedly for the coverage he gave to Sandy Hook” and “regrets what he did,” according to a report from Insider. However, even though Jones has publicly admitted that the mass shooting was not a hoax, he has used all manner of excuses to deflect responsibility for the resulting harm away from himself—including claims of psychosis.
Previously, Jones has lost at least two other rounds of defamation lawsuits: one in Connecticutand another in Texas. In an attempt to avoid compensating the victims of his vitriolic lies, the broadcaster filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy for three of his companies in April, but was denied the protections. He also managed to swindle a $5 million cryptocurrency donation from an anonymous donor.
If the prosecution in the ongoing Texas trial gets their way though, that will be just a drop in the bucket of what Jones owes to families. An attorney told the jury that Jones should be forced to pay $150 million for his “massive campaign of lies.”