InfoWars host Alex Jones faces a defamation suit filed by the families of Sandy Hook mass shooting victims, as well as sanctions issued by a Connecticut court for a threatening rant against one of the opposing attorneys in that case.
On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a request from Jones to dismiss sanctions against what he argued was free speech, The Hill reported.
Sued for defamation
Jones was sued for defamation by several Sandy Hook families, and by an FBI agent who investigated the incident, for his initial assertions that the 2012 mass shooting had been a “hoax” intended to drum up support for stricter gun control measures, a position he has since admitted was incorrect.
Nevertheless, Jones was sanctioned in 2019 by Connecticut Judge Barbara Bellis following an explicit rant against one of the attorneys representing the families. Those sanctions included prohibiting Jones from filing a motion to dismiss the suit and placed him on the hook for the families’ legal fees — a ruling that was upheld by the Connecticut Supreme Court.
Jones appealed that ruling to the Supreme Court, but the high court declined to take up his appeal without issuing any additional comment, according to the Associated Press.
“Judge Bellis, and the Connecticut Supreme Court, asserted frightening and standardless power over the extrajudicial statements of litigants,” Jones’ attorney, Norman Pattis, said in a statement to the AP regarding the “disappointment” he and his client had at the Supreme Court’s decision.
“Mr. Jones never threatened anyone; had he done so, he would have been charged with a crime. We are inching our way case-by-case toward a toothless, politically correct, First Amendment,” Pattis added.
Rant against the attorney
In Jones’ expletive-laced tirade against attorney Christopher Mattei, a former federal prosecutor, he accused him of trying to set him up with child pornography and declared “total war” against the attorney and placed a “bounty” on his head.
Law & Crime reported that the allegations regarding child pornography stemmed from the fact that some of the emails turned over to the Connecticut court by Jones appeared to have unopened attachments that featured child porn. Jones himself was never accused or charged in any way over the illicit porn that he never opened and wasn’t even aware of.
Following the Supreme Court’s denial of Jones’ appeal of the sanctions, the Sandy Hook families’ attorney Josh Koskoff said in a statement, “The families are eager to resume their case and to hold Mr. Jones and his financial network accountable for their actions,” and added, “From the beginning, our goal has been to prevent future victims of mass shootings from being preyed on by opportunists.”
Meanwhile, in addition to that defamation suit in Connecticut, Jones is also facing four defamation suits in Texas that the Texas Supreme Court refused to dismiss earlier this year, according to The Hill.
Furthermore, the AP noted that in one of those Texas lawsuits, Jones has been ordered to pay $100,000 in legal fees for the Sandy Hook families.