Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones could be on the merge of discovering that the First Amendment has limits and does not allow a person to attack others with lies in an effort to demean their pain and suffering as testimony begins today in Texas to decide much he must pay the families of children slain in the 2912 Sandy Hook Elementary mass shooting that left 26 dead, including 20 children between the ages of six and seven.
According to the Associated Press, the parents suing Jones are seeking in excess of $100 million in damages. Such a judgement, attorneys for Jones allege, would lead to financial ruin for the controversial radio and podcast host.
The jury could deal Jones a major financial blow that would put his constellation of conspiracy peddling businesses into deeper jeopardy. He has already been banned from YouTube, Facebook and Spotify for violating their hate-speech policies and he claims he’s millions of dollars in debt — a claim the plaintiffs reject.
The trial involving the parents of two Sandy Hook families is only the start for Jones. Damages have yet to be awarded in separate defamation cases for other families of the 2012 massacre in Newtown, Connecticut.
During questioning of potential jurors, Jones’ attorney Andino Reynal conceded that his client is indeed a “very polarizing” and “controversial” figure, but urged to cap any damages at a miniscule $1.
Reynal neglected to mention that juries in both Texas and Connecticut have already found Jones liable for defamation after he suggested that the children and teachers slain at Sandy Hook Elementary were “crisis actors” who staged a fake shooting to increase the likelihood of gun control legislation in the United States.
Since being found liable, Jones has insisted that he’s already broke, claiming that he’s $20 million in debt and cannot possibly pay any judgements that may be assessed against him.
The plaintiffs, however, don’t believe Jones, and the facts simply don’t support his claims of poverty:
Court records show that Jones’ Infowars store, which sells nutritional supplements and survival gear, made more than $165 million between 2015 and 2018. Jones has also urged listeners on his Infowars program to donate money.
Hopefully, when all is said and done, Alex Jones won’t have a proverbial pot to piss in.