Families suing Alex Jones over his lies about the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting on Tuesday rejected the conspiracy theorist’s attempt to wriggle his way out of sitting for a deposition.
Jones’ attorneys had offered $120,000 to each of the 13 plaintiffs, along with the message that their client “extends his heartfelt apology for any distress his remarks caused.” Jones had claimed the shooting, which killed 20 children and six adults, was a “false flag” with “green screen” images and “crisis actors.” The plaintiffs have said Jones’ followers have harassed them and sent death threats.
“The so-called offer is a transparent and desperate attempt by Alex Jones to escape a public reckoning under oath with his deceitful, profit-driven campaign against the plaintiffs and the memory of their loved ones lost at Sandy Hook,” the plaintiffs replied in unison, per CNN.
Connecticut Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis ordered Jones to be deposed last Wednesday and Thursday. Jones was a no-show, with his lawyers claiming their client wasn’t feeling well and was following his doctor’s advice to stay home. They also argued in a filing, according to Connecticut Public Radio, that Jones “has never sought to indefinitely postpone his deposition or to escape it entirely. Instead, he has sought to have it postponed until his doctors clear him to sit for it.”
Attorneys for the families said that an initial deposition date was scheduled last fall. Jones was also hosting a live Infowars show from his studio outside his home on Friday, the plaintiffs noted in the filing. They have since asked Bellis to hold Jones in contempt, jail him, and order him to pay escalating daily fines starting at $25,000 until he is finally deposed, according to CNN. A hearing on the matter is set for Wednesday.
Jones already lost the defamation case, with Bellis finding him guilty by default in November because he refused to turn over court-ordered documents as part of the discovery process. What’s unresolved is how much Jones will pay, with a trial forthcoming.
One of Jones’ attorneys had a galling response to the settlement rejection on Tuesday.
“Mr. Jones has already apologized on the air. The shootings took place almost a decade ago, and were a minuscule part of Mr. Jones’ programming,” Norm Pattis told CNN. “But for this litigation, they would be a sad footnote in our recent history. Who gains by all this?”
Pattis’ attempt to portray Jones’ comments as a minor aspect of his show does not square with how financial records indicate that on days Jones hyped his bogus Sandy Hook theory, sales in his Infowars store jumped. It should also be noted that Bellis at one point sanctioned Jones after he, alongside Pattis, appeared on his show and offered $1 million for the head of one of the Sandy Hook families’ lawyers “on a pike.”