Attorneys representing Sandy Hook families in a defamation case against InfoWars host Alex Jones accused the defendant of sending electronic files containing child pornography as part of the discovery process and threatening one of the plaintiffs’ attorneys. Although the defense said federal prosecutors told them there was “no indication anyone at InfoWars knowingly possessed child pornography,” the judge in the case was otherwise not convinced on Tuesday with the explanation for an alleged threat related to this controversy.
Norm Pattis, an attorney for Jones, apologized on Tuesday for a segment last Friday on Jones’s InfoWars show in which Jones transparently lashed out and identified an opposing attorney by name and face. In the segment, Jones identified attorney Chris Mattei by name and showed a picture of him, punching said picture. According to the plaintiffs, Jones “falsely claim[ed] that Attorney Mattei tried to frame Jones by planting child pornography in discovery materials produced by Jones, distorting what actually occurred in the discovery process in this case, and threatening Attorney Mattei and the Koskoff firm.”
Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis on Tuesday described the situation as “uncharted territory.”
“A party produced child pornography in their discovery documents and then went on a broadcast and said the child pornography was planted by the plaintiffs’ attorney,” the judge said. Bellis also tacked on sanctions, calling Jones’s remarks “indefensible,” “unconscionable” and “possibly criminal.”
Bellis barred Jones’s team from pursuing special motions to dismiss, according to CNN. Jones will also have to compensate the plaintiffs with attorneys fees for forcing their hand in filing a motion on this issue.
As mentioned, the allegations that Jones threatened Mattei stemmed from last Friday’s episode of Jones’ show.
“We all know who did it,” Jones said, during a profanity laden tirade.
“You’re trying to set me up with child porn, I’m going to get your ass. One million dollars, one million dollars you little gang member. One million dollars to put your head on a pike. One million dollars, bitch. I am going to get your ass,” Jones yelled, before claiming that he was going to “publish all the metadata” from the emails in question.
“I pray for divine intervention against the powers of Satan. I literally would never have sex with children. I don’t like having sex with children. I would never have sex with children, I am not a Democrat, I am not a liberal,” he said, while sitting alongside his attorney, Norm Pattis.
Following Friday’s show, Pattis told the CT Post that Jones did not threaten Mattei.
“Mr. Jones was upset, he did not threaten Mr. Mattei,” Pattis said. “He spoke in a compassionate fashion.”
Pattis told Law&Crime on Monday that authorities had already informed him that it appeared neither his client nor InfoWars had any knowledge of child porn being present in the electronic files.
“I spoke to federal prosecutors last week,” Pattis said. “They report that there is no indication anyone at InfoWars knowingly possessed child pornography. The items were embedded in emails sent to folks at InfoWars without ever having been opened.”
Jones previously had to sit for a deposition about Sandy Hook Elementary School conspiracy theories. The plaintiffs, families of five children and two adults who were murdered in Newtown, Connecticut, sued Jones for defamation due to his “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.
Jerry Lambe contributed to this report.
[Image via Kaster Lynch Farrar & Ball LLP/YouTube screengrab]