A battery of text messages—some two years’ worth—that right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ lawyer mistakenly let fly in court have now been submitted to the Jan. 6 committee, according to a report first out by CNN on Monday.
A representative for the committee declined to comment to Daily Kos, but CNN reported that a “person familiar with the matter” confirmed the hand-off from attorney Mark Bankston to the congressional panel.
Bankston represented two parents whose son was killed in the shooting at Sandy Hook who sued Jones for defamation. Jones barraged the victims' families with conspiracy theories and other baseless claims in his InfoWars podcast. Jurors returned a victory for those parents last week.
During trial, Bankston revealed that Jones’ attorney, Andino Reynal, sent the trove of messages inadvertently to him and never properly tried to claw them back. Bankston disclosed to the trial’s presiding judge last week that several law enforcement agencies had reached out to him seeking the texts, including the committee.
Judge Maya Guerra Gamble said she would not stand in the way of the handover.
It is unclear if the Justice Department has also received a copy of the texts. A spokesperson did not immediately return a request for comment but it is standard procedure for the department to decline any official comment on ongoing investigations.
Jones has been cagey with the select committee. He sat for deposition after receiving a subpoena but proceeded to answer more than 100 questions by invoking his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
His proximity to extremist groups like the Oath Keepers and his involvement in various activities supporting the “Stop the Steal” movement have been the subject of focus for the Jan. 6 probe. Jones never entered the Capitol on Jan. 6, but he did deliver rousing speeches. He has maintained his innocence.
Bankston said in court last week that some of the messages on Jones’ phone included “intimate” ones sent between the right-wing bombast and Roger Stone, former President Donald Trump’s fierce ally and associate of extremist groups like the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers.
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