The Thursday Politics Thread Commits Some Perjury

Mornin’ Politocadoes!

So, I think I’d try to catch peeps up on what’s happening in the world of one Alex Emmerich Jones. For those of you who missed it, Jones had the first of three hearings close yesterday in regards to his involvement in Sandy Hook. So let’s talk a little bit about Alex Jones.

Alex Jones is a conspiracy theorist. He has been operating InfoWars, a network of related radio and tv programs that traffic in far right conspiracy theories and paranoia since the mid-to-late 90s. While certainly not the first, he is perhaps one of the most influential cranks of the past 30 years. His biggest claims to fame are predicting 9/11 (which he really didn’t, only in the vaguest possible way and even then it’s pretty clear he took it from another right wing loon, Bill Cooper) and “exposing” Bohemian Grove (he and author Jon Ronson went to see a bunch of rich dudes get drunk around a weird owl statue). He says he’s some type of libertarian or that he’s *above* right/left paradigm, usually associating with Ron Paul or his son, Rand. He’ll deny it, but he’s a John Birch Society guy to the bone. His dad, who is occasionally referred to as a dentist for the CIA, was a member.

Alex is not good for the world. With the growth of social media he was able to reach more people than he ever did on his radio show or circulating his tapes. He undoubtedly helped amplify Birtherism during Obama’s administration. He lied about the Boston Marathon bombings, shamelessly taking stuff off of 4chan (that was wrong in the first place) fingering innocent bystanders and sowing misinformation left and right. He’s spread Sovereign Citizen ideology far wider than it would have otherwise. He certainly helped get people on board with Trump. So much so, Trump appeared on his show. He pushed the Big Lie that the election was stolen and was, at the very least, aware of what might happen on January 6th. And he has called every mass shooting in recent memory a false flag. Which is what finally got him in legal jeopardy.

The Sandy Hook Massacre is one of the grimmest, deep, dark, black, abyssal chapters of American history. It was the tragedy of America. We saw children slaughtered and decided, ultimately, that we could live with that. And no doubt, Alex Jones helped bring people to that point. He knew there was money to be had in spinning a false narrative about it. So he lied. Lied, repeatedly. Said the parents were crisis actors, that the kids were doing drills, Infowars claimed that the kids who died were at the SuperBowl Halftime Show. The man is a monster. He’s been sued several times over. This case involved the parents of one of the victims, Neil Heslin and Scarlet Lewis.

Now, these hearings were actually damages hearings, they were civil trials. Jones and his company, Free Speech Systems LLC had already been found guilty of inflicting pain and suffering on grieving parents for fun and profit, mostly due to negligence. They were given a default judgment in their court cases for failing to properly comply with discovery. Being unwilling or unable to do this is extremely rare and so is a default judgment, Jones has tried to use this to his advantage saying the system is rigged against him. But anyone who listens to the Knowledge Fight podcast (particularly the Formulaic Objections episodes that look at depositions) will know that Jones and his flunkies are particularly inept, perhaps intentionally so, about keeping financial records and information about stories they’ve written straight. It is not surprising that they would be found guilty.

Jones’ response was to file for bankruptcy. To be clear, he is not bankrupt. He has only filed for bankruptcy and there’s plenty of evidence to suggest he only did this to delay any sort of result from the default judgment. So either through ignorance or general indifference to the process, he’s made the bed he’s lying in. He’s also hired possibly the worst lawyers? He’s gone through several from Robert Barnes, who seems intent on being a misinformation peddler himself to Norm Pattis, who moonlights as a stand-up comedian, (to be clear, not sure if they worked on this specific case, but he’s been through several regardless) and this guy, F. Andino Reynal, who apparently had been a federal prosecutor under Eric Holder.

Reynal, whom I genuinely wonder if he’s screwing up on purpose, apparently made a mistake so profound that it boggles my non-lawyer mind. 12 days ago, he sent the plaintiffs’ attorneys an entire digital copy of Alex Jones’ personal cell phone. It has information on it from at least the past 3 years, so texts, e-mails, financial documents, things Mr. Jones has been assiduously avoiding, assuring people that he doesn’t have them. The attorneys used it to prove that Alex committed perjury multiple times on the stand. But what’s more, is that he likely has information related to January 6th. The January 6th Committee seems to think so as well, having requested that information also be sent to them as soon as possible.

I’m inclined to think the attorneys will be happy to send that along, since they also apparently sent stuff to the FBI. I wish nothing but bad legal things to happen to him. And it will be extremely satisfying if any of this actually leads to the whole House of Cards falling down.

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