Alex Jones has argued that he should not be arrested for twice skipping a deposition in a lawsuit over his false claims about the Sandy Hook massacre because such action would cause him “significant stress” as he claims to be suffering from undisclosed ailments.
Lawyers for the far-right conspiracy theorist made their case for why Mr Jones should not be held in contempt of court in a filing on Monday.
Mr Jones was scheduled to testify under oath last week on 23 and 24 March as part of settlement proceedings in lawsuits he lost against the families of victims killed in the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. He was found guilty of defamation in multiple cases last year after he falsely said the massacre that claimed 26 innocent lives was “a giant hoax” and that the six and seven-year-old children murdered were “actors”.
Mr Jones failed to show up for the depositions both days, after his attorneys filed multiple motions asking for a delay, claiming that he was too sick to leave the house.
The judge turned down the requests, in part because the conspiracy theorist was seemingly well enough to continue broadcasting his hours-long show - leaving his home on at least one occasion to travel to his studio to film it.
It later emerged that the doctor who advised him that he was too unwell to attend the deposition was the same doctor who appeared on his show on Monday to attack the Covid-19 vaccines as “poison” and call the US’s top doctor Dr Anthony Fauci “the greatest mass murderer in the history of the world”.
After he missed the deposition for a second time, the attorneys representing the victims’ families urged the judge to find Mr Jones in contempt of court and have him arrested.
In a filing in response, Mr Jones’ lawyer Norman Pattis accused the plaintiffs of “blatantly” asking the judge to overrule his doctors.
The lawyers cited the coronavirus pandemic in stressing the importance of trusting doctors - something Mr Jones has balked at in the past as he repeatedly downplayed the seriousness of the virus and doubted the reliability of vaccines on his Infowars show.
“For the past year and a half, the world has given more deference to medical professionals than any time in human history,” the filing states. “Even courts joined in granting this deference without question, and the world justified that deference as being necessary to protect human life and human health. Many of the recommendations made by doctors were precautionary, and they received the force of law in many instances.
“Here, the Plaintiffs have blatantly asked the Court to substitute its judgment for that of Mr. Jones’ doctors. They have publicly made a pseudo-macho challenge as to Mr. Jones’ courage in the media that has sullied this litigation, publicly accusing him of cowardice for ultimately listening to his doctors.”
Mr Pattis asserted that sitting for a deposition would be a “grueling ordeal” for Mr Jones given his current ailments.
“Any one in Mr. Jones’ position would have experienced significant stress in preparing for such a deposition, and no ordinary person would have felt at ease sitting for such a deposition when their doctors were actively engaged in making a decision on whether they should go to the emergency room for a condition that could prove disastrous if exacerbated,” he wrote.
Mr Jones defended himself against the plaintiffs’ efforts to have him arrested in a pre-recorded video on his Infowars website last Thursday - the same day he said he was too unwell to attend the second deposition date.
Titled “Sandy Hook mafia calls for Alex Jones’ arrest: Legendary talk show host responds”, he claimed he was being treated worse than death row prisoners.
“Somebody on death row is allowed to go get their medical treatment and hearings and things are postponed but I’m treated worse than somebody on death row,” he said.
Mr Jones also claimed he was the victim of “show trials” with people trying to show that he is a “horrible person”.
“When I talked to these doctors they said ‘you’re crazy, you need to go home, you need to get these tests today and tomorrow and you need to stay away from the microphone,’” he said.
“Well here I am even though I shouldn’t be on here because I need to response to the hundreds of articles… that are attacking me and saying that I’m a horrible person.”
Mr Jones said that he “might just release my medical records to make you all look like fools”, saying he had undergone scans and had been “under a lot of stress”.
The anti-vaxxer, who said Donald Trump is either “ignorant” or “evil” for encouraging people to take the vaccine, said that he had been sick since he contracted Covid-19 last year.
“I started getting sick after I got Covid last year,” he said, adding that it was “a really bad Delta variant”.
“Like everybody else it attacked my cardiovascular system.”
Mr Jones explained how one of the doctors behind his failed bid to delay the deposition, Dr Benjamin Marble, had appeared on his show two days earlier and “saw some signs of certain things and checked me out with a stethoscope and blood pressure machine and said I should go get myself checked out by a doctor.”
Mr Jones claimed that he didn’t think it “would be a big deal” to move the deposition because he had sat for three already and had “given them over 300 pages of documents” and financial records to the victims’ families.
“When they say I give them nothing it’s all a lie. These are show trials,” he said.
Mr Jones, whose lies about the Sandy Hook massacre resulted in grieving families being threatened and harassed by conspiracy theorists, claimed he was the victim of people wanting him to “be silenced”.
“They picked a few things I said a few years ago and took it out of context to make me the Sandy Hook man,” he said.
He added: “They want me in jail. They want me to be silenced. They want you to be silenced.”
It was not clear from the video where the recording was made as it was an audio clip played over screengrabs of news articles.
Mr Jones said in the video that he is recording the message from his home before getting “some more medical tests”.
He did not detail the nature of his health issues saying that they are “private”.
The deposition is part of settlement proceedings in lawsuits he lost against the families of victims killed in Sandy Hook.
On 14 December 2012, 20 students aged six and seven years old and six staff members were shot and killed by 20-year-old Adam Lanza at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
In the aftermath, Mr Jones made several false claims on his show and through his website that the mass shooting was a “false flag” operation engineered by the government to bring about stricter gun control laws.
The families of Sandy Hook victims were subjected to years of in-person and online harassment over his false claims, all the while Mr Jones financially profited by spreading the conspiracies.
Several defamation lawsuits were brought by the families of some of the victims with Mr Jones being found guilty by default in the final suit in November.
The suits will now head to jury trials to decide how much he has to pay them for damages and legal fees.