Alex Jones’ lawyers in the Sandy Hook case asked a judge not to allow evidence of white supremacy or far-right extremism into the courtroom.
Jones, the Infowars host and a far-right conspiracy theorist, has already lost the libel case for his involvement in spreading a plot that depicted the parents of children murdered in the shooting of the Sandy Hook school in 2012 as “crisis actors,” so the trial jury is set to determine how much he will pay in damages.
Jones’ lawyers filed a motion on Tuesday asking the judge to prevent “the introduction of evidence on the themes of white supremacy and right-wing extremism.” The lawyers do not focus on the veracity of the links, but rather on the fact that “such evidence is not relevant to the questions which will be put before the jury and would also be unfairly prejudicial and inflammatory to the defendants”.
Jones and Infowars have lost several libel lawsuits over the past two years, including one in Connecticut and Texas for defaming Sandy Hook’s parents and another in Connecticut for Infowars wrongly identifying a man as a mass shooter.
The document specifically mentions two potential witnesses that lawyers for Sandy Hook’s parents, who brought the case, can call on, Dr. Heidi Beirich, who previously ran the Southern Poverty Law Center Intelligence Project, and Oren Segal, the vice president of the Anti-Defamation League Center on Extremism.
“Any attempt by the plaintiffs to introduce evidence or testimony about white supremacy and the far right or any other type of political extremism is to distract the jury from the issues in dispute – causes of action and potential damages” , reads the petition. “This is a transparent effort to smear the defendants by associating them with unpopular ideas and people who themselves are not part of this case. »
With local media covering the trial report, these filings are part of a larger legal strategy by Jones’ lawyers to try to limit the impact of the serial fabulist’s public image on the jury.
If the judge decides that this evidence cannot be included in the trial, it would not be the first time that links to far-right extremists have been banned from a courtroom. For example, the judge presiding over Kyle Rittenhouse’s trial barred prosecutors from presenting evidence he posed with Proud Boys.
After Jones lost the myriad lawsuits, some thought the financial impact of paying damages might impact his ability to sue Infowars, but recently an anonymous donor sent Jones millions of dollars in bitcoins. . The conspiracy theorist also tried to file for bankruptcy in anticipation of having to pay damages, but a judge deemed those efforts dishonest and halted them.
The trial will begin later this summer.