The judge in the defamation trial of internet personality and filmmaker Alex Jones has refused to seal the contents of his phone which were mistakenly sent to the attorney representing the Sandy Hook parents who are suing him for $150 million over alleged false claims about their children’s murder during the 2012 massacre at the Connecticut elementary school.
On Thursday, the day after the stunning development when the plaintiff’s attorney Mark Bankston unveiled his big surprise, Judge Maya Guerra Gamble denied Jones’ lawyer’s request for a mistrial and to seal the contents of the phone, which are reportedly being sought after by the January 6 select committee as well as federal and local law enforcement agencies.
Seeking to limit the amount of damage from the inexplicable unforced error, attorney Federico Andino Reynal asked Judge Gamble to order the deletion of the data and declare a mistrial, a request that Bankston vehemently argued against, stating “And things like Mr. Jones and his intimate messages with Roger Stone are not confidential.”
"Things like Mr. Jones and his intimate messages with Roger Stone are not confidential. They are not trade secrets." Bankston tells the judge this is not the first time the defendants have filed a frivolous motion. #AlexJones pic.twitter.com/k6n0k0Bn3Q
— Cathy Russon (@cathyrusson) August 4, 2022
“There’s been no protection ever asserted over these files,” Bankston argued. “And frankly, your Honor, I think you realize that this is not the first time that defendants have come into this court with a frivolous motion accusing me of misconduct over the handling of confidential materials.”
“Pretrial we dealt with this exact same issue when they tried to claim that the release of Mr. Jones’s third deposition was a violation of confidentiality,” he continued. “Again, they asked you for the same thing,” noting the multiple requests by Jones’ lawyer to have the case dismissed.
Bankston then dropped a bombshell, “I am under request from various federal agencies and law enforcement to provide that phone, absent a ruling from you saying, ‘You cannot do that Mr. Bankston,’ I intend to do so,” he said, seeming to confirm a Rolling Stone report that the J6 committee will subpoena the contents of Jones’ phone.
According to Rolling Stone, “Now — a source familiar with the matter and another person briefed on it tell Rolling Stone — the January 6th committee is preparing to request that data from the plaintiff attorneys in order to aid its investigation of the insurrection. These internal deliberations among the committee, which is probing former President Donald Trump’s role in causing the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot, began within minutes of the lawyer’s revelation being heard on the trial’s livestream on Wednesday afternoon.”
“They know about them. They know they exist. They know you have them. I think they’re going there either way,” Judge Gamble said as she denied the motion for a mistrial, adding that she will not “seal up the entire phone.”
“I’m not going to seal the quantity of information without knowing what’s in it,” she said, indicating that medical information would likely be sealed.
That the J6 committee is keenly interested in Jones’ texts and emails comes as the professionally choreographed, Soviet-style production that has failed to captivate the public is in summer break as it prepares for its fall debut with members like Rep. Adam Schiff teasing that the one-sided tribunal is prepared to vastly expand its scope well beyond former President Donald J. Trump to other targets, including Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
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