Alex Jones trial - live: Jury shown videos of Infowars host mocking ‘crisis actor’ Sandy Hook parents

The second defamation trial of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones is underway in Connecticut as he faces the families of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that he claimed was a hoax in broadcasts to his millions of viewers.

On Wednesday the court heard from an appointed representative of Jones’s media company to gain insight into its operations and specifics around the origins of the various theories he espoused. The jury was shown how Jones’s audience grew exponentially following the tragedy as did company revenues.

Earlier, the sister of one of the teachers killed and an FBI agent described what it was like to live in fear for their lives amid accusations from Jones’ fans that they were crisis actors.

Jones was last month ordered o pay nearly $50m to the parents of one of the slain children by a Texas jury following a similar lawsuit. Now, it is a six-member jury and several alternates who will ultimately decide how much he should pay relatives of eight victims and an FBI agent who responded to the scene of the 2012 massacre.

Key Points

17:38 , Oliver O'Connell

Back on Google Analytics, Mr Mattei shows data that shows Infowars pageviews went from approximately 500,000 impressions to 2 million after the publication of a bogus Sandy Hook story in 2014.

After running bogus Sandy Hook stories or posting videos, Infowars saw a 33.4 per cent increase in new visitors to the website, Mr Mattei shows the jury.

Despite all the evidence presented to the court, including clearly labelled emails and attachments saying so, Ms Paz refuses to concede whether she knows if Infowars uses Google Analytics.

Watch: Jury shown video of Jones mocking Sandy Hook parents

17:35 , Oliver O'Connell

17:26 , Oliver O'Connell

The jury was shown video clips in which Jones asks his viewers to support Halbig financially .

Later an email is produced from Halbig to an Infowars employee thanking him because he is receiving so much financial support thanks to Jones’ efforts.

“Please thank Alex again for his great work in helping our cause in funding our legal bill. We are receiving donations because of him.”

Mr Mattei asks how much money Halbig received.

Ms Paz says she doesn’t know.

17:21 , Oliver O'Connell

Another Infowars video is played in which Jones again mock cries as he claims the Sandy Hook parents did.

Jones also claims that the children were actors as well as their parents.

“100 kids and no one can find them,” he falsely contends in the video. “You have pictures of children who died who are still alive.”

Mr Mattei says: “Can you use your powers of deduction to tell that InfoWars is saying in this video that the children are actors?”

He then names the children asking Ms Paz if each is an actor. Parents in the public gallery can be seen wiping their eyes.

Ms Paz responds no to each name.

17:11 , Oliver O'Connell

A video clip is shown of Halbig and Jones in which the former claims that Sandy Hook Elementary was a “toxic waste dump” and had been closed for years.

They both claim that it was a set and not a real school.

Mr Mattei notes that the school principal Dawn Hochsprung would regularly post pictures of events at the school on her Twitter account, proving this conspiracy wrong.

17:06 , Oliver O'Connell

Moving on from the questioning about the use of Google Analytics, Mr Mattei goes on to some of the wild claims about Sandy Hook made by Infowars.

Infowars’ Adan Salazar wrote a false story claiming an FBI report didn’t put in any shooting murders for the year 2012 in the area.

In reality, all Salazar had to do was scroll down to the next table to see that this was incorrect.

Mattei: “He darn well knew what the statistics said and he published it anyway.”

Jones ran the story and claimed on his show that the FBI report showed: “No one died in 2012 in Sandy Hook. It shows no homicides in that town. That story by Adan Salazar is online on Infowars.”

The story was titled: “FBI Says No One Killed At Sandy Hook”.

Court resumes after morning recess

16:54 , Oliver O'Connell

Ms Paz is shown all of the emails from Infowars staff containing Google Analytics data and charts.

Challenged again about whether the company uses Google Analytics data, Ms Paz — who is speaking on behalf of Free Speech Systems/Infowars — says again she can only convey what was said to her.

An exasperated Mr Mattei sighs: “OK...”

Pushed again, Ms Paz says: “I do understand that these emails show that they have talked about Google Analytics in the past.”

Mr Mattei continues: “Free Speech Systems can’t say why its business director sent Google Analytics to a guy who wants to send them advertising money?”

Why Google Analytics is relevant to the case against Jones

16:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Just a reminder that Alex Jones and Infowars were sanctioned just minutes into the trial, with Judge Barbara Bellis issuing a ruling that Mr Jones and Infowars will not be allowed to argue that they didn’t make considerable profits from covering the shooting because they didn’t hand over Google Analytics data concerning the traffic of Infowars to the plaintiffs.

Before the jury entered the courtroom on Tuesday, plaintiffs’ lawyer Alinor Sterling requested that the judge approve sanctions against Mr Jones and Infowars, arguing that they found a spreadsheet of Google Analytics listing traffic until June of 2019 despite the defendants’ claiming that no such document existed.

Jones’ lawyers argued that the data was irrelevant, claiming that there wasn’t any evidence showing that Infowars had allowed the numbers to impact its coverage on the air. The plaintiffs’ argue that increased traffic and revenue from Sandy Hook coverage led Infowars to keep propagating the conspiracy over years.

Judge Bellis said that Infowars showed a “stunningly cavalier attitude with respect to their discovery obligations”.

Infowars had “consistently engaged in dilatory and obstructive discovery practices,” the judge said, adding that this partly prompted the earlier default judgment against Jones.

Gustaf Kilander has more details:

Alex Jones sanctioned minutes into damages trial over Sandy Hook claims

16:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Court is on a 15-minute recess.

16:22 , Oliver O'Connell

Questioning returns to whether Infowars uses Google Analytics to track traffic and and demographics across Free Speech Systems’ websites.

Ms Paz is shown and asked to confirm the veracity of an email exchange between a potential online advertiser — a loan company — and an Infowars advertising staffer.

In the emails, the potential customer is shown charts and data, all taken from... Google Analytics.

Ms Paz is asked if it is still her testimony that Infowars does not use Google Analytics. She responds that she does not know what they do or don’t do with it.

A second set of internal company emails is shown relating to the website’s store. They also include data pulled from Google Analytics.

Ms Paz is again asked if she would like to revise her testimony that InfoWars does not use Google Analytics. She says she can only convey what the company conveyed to her.

16:07 , Oliver O'Connell

A clip is shown of Mr Halbig on Infowars in 2013.

“I can tell you children did not die, teachers did not die on December 14, 2012. It just could not have happened.”

Another clip shows Jones mocking the parents of the Sandy Hook victims and pretending to cry, also accusing them of laughing and then crying.

“This is the fakest thing since the three dollar bill,” Jones says.

Mr Mattei asks whether such videos were uploaded to YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. She affirms this was the case.

Company rep: Bitcoin donations to Infowars go to Alex Jones

16:01 , Oliver O'Connell

On day two day of the second Sandy Hook defamation trial against conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, a corporate representative for his company testified that cryptocurrency donations solicited during his show go directly to Mr Jones personally.

Bitcoin donations to Infowars go to Alex Jones, company rep testifies

15:56 , Oliver O'Connell

The court is shown a video of Jones talking about Mr Halbig going to Newtown in 2014 to interrupt a school board meeting and being stopped from entering a public building.

On the same trip to Connecticut, he also went to the firehouse to confront firefighters.

15:52 , Oliver O'Connell

Questioning moves on to an Infowars conspiracy regarding an email from New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg that they claimed was accidentally sent out two days before the Sandy Hook shooting rather than after it.

Yesterday Ms Paz said she had seen the email but now says she did not. The email does not exist.

Mayor Bloomberg never sent out any kind of email about gun control before Sandy Hook but had previously been very vocal about the Aurora shooting earlier in 2012 and is a well-known gun control advocate.

15:44 , Oliver O'Connell

Ms Paz is asked about Infowars contributor and conspiracist Wolfgang Halbig, who was discussed during yesterday’s testimony.

Mr Mattei notes: “The only check anyone at Infowars did into Mr Halbig’s background was to go to the website he himself created, right?”

Paz: “I believe that is accurate, yes”

The purpose of this testimony appears to be to establish that without Jones, Mr Halbig would not have had such a platform to broadcast lies about Sandy Hook — which he continues to do to this day.

Warning emails sent to Infowars telling them to check Halbig’s credentials were ignored or not followed up on.

Mr Halbig visited Newtown, the site of the Sandy Hook massacre, on multiple occasions, even with a camera crew at one point. He claimed to be in search of the victims who he said were still alive.

Day 2 recap: Alex Jones knew hoax coverage translated into sales, rep says

15:25 , Oliver O'Connell

A lawyer who works for Alex Jones’ Infowars testified from the witness stand on Wednesday that the conspiracy theorist who claimed the 2012 Sandy Hook mass shooting was a hoax knew that his words could drive followers to his empire.

Jones "knows that what he talks about translates to sales" of his conspiracy-oriented products, Brittany Paz told jurors at the second day of a civil trial to determine how much Jones owes relatives of the shooting’s victims.

Jurors will decide how much Jones and Infowars’ parent Free Speech Systems LLC must pay 13 relatives and an FBI agent who responded to the 14 December 2012 massacre at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

Twenty students and six staff members were killed after Adam Lanza opened fire, before later killing himself.

Jones later spread false claims that the government staged the Sandy Hook shooting with crisis actors as a pretext for seizing guns, and that the families faked their children’s deaths.

He has since acknowledged that the shooting occurred, but the families say he should pay for their pain and the harassment they suffered from his followers.

The trial began on Tuesday and is expected to last five weeks.

With Ms Paz on the witness stand, the plaintiffs’ lawyer Christopher Mattei tried to show jurors that traffic to Infowars’ website skyrocketed after Jones dismissed the shooting as bogus.

Jurors were told that views of Infowars articles soared by nearly half to 427 million in 2013 from 286 million, and that other metrics shot up between 2014 and 2016, when Jones was hosting Sandy Hook deniers on his show.

Paz testified that Infowars shaped its programming around topics that drove the most buyers to its products, which include storable food, fluoride-free toothpaste, and supplements.

Jones has not yet attended the trial in Waterbury, Connecticut, about 20 miles from where the shooting occurred, but his lawyer has said he will testify.

Reuters

Court resumes for day three of trial

15:19 , Oliver O'Connell

The jury is brought in following a few procedural matters between Judge Barbara Bellis and the attorneys for both sides.

Infowars/Free Speech Systems corporate representative Brittany Paz is back on the witness stand being questioned by plaintiffs’ attorney Chris Mattei.

They begin by recapping the topics covered during her day-long testimony on Wednesday.

Watch: Infowars company rep testifies audience increased exponentially after Sandy Hook

14:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Free Speech Systems corporate representative Brittany Paz testified that since 2012, the growth of the audience for Infowars has, in Alex Jones’ words, been exponential, leading to billions of social media impressions.

This coincides with when Jones began to air his Sandy Hook massacre hoax conspiracy theories — which began the day of the shooting, 14 December 2012.

Alex Jones claims he sold more copies of his new book than ‘any Harry Potter’

14:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Far-right media personality Alex Jones has claimed in an interview that his latest book has outsold all of the books in the Harry Potter franchise.

Jones, who is currently the subject of a second defamation trial over his Sandy Hook hoax allegations, made the claims about The Great Reset on the programme Louder with Crowder.

He provided no evidence to back his claim but asserted that runaway sales of the book are being suppressed by a publishing industry conspiracy.

Abe Asher reports.

Alex Jones claims his new book has sold more copies than ‘any Harry Potter’

Watch: Alex Jones rep asked about his comparison of Sandy Hook and Reichstag fire

13:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Alex Jones Texas trial juror breaks silence on tense deliberations

13:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Jurors in Alex Jones‘ defamation trial reportedly sparred over how much money the conspiracy theorist television host should pay to the families of Sandy Hook victims.

According to one juror, who spoke with Reuters, sums discussed for Jones’ penalty ranged between $500,000 to $200m.

“We saw those numbers on the board and someone said, ‘Well, I guess we’re never leaving this room,’” Sharon, the juror who spoke with Reuters, said.

Alex Jones juror breaks silence on tense deliberations in Sandy Hook case

Infowars representative admits ‘there were false statements’ on Sandy Hook

12:00 , Oliver O'Connell

A lawyer for conspiracy theorist Alex Jones‘ Infowars empire acknowledged on the witness stand Wednesday that the show and website spread falsehoods about the Sandy Hook school shooting.

“I don’t think that we disagree that there were false statements made,” Brittany Paz testified at a civil trial involving Jones’ claims that the nation’s deadliest school shooting was a hoax concocted as a pretext to tighten gun regulations.

Infowars lawyer: 'There were false statements' on Sandy Hook

Sandy Hook families: ‘Bully’ Alex Jones will ‘never stop’ unless held responsible

10:30 , Oliver O'Connell

A lawyer representing eight families who lost family members in the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre tore into Infowars founder Alex Jones as the second damages trial against him began in Connecticut.

“Unless you stand up to bullies, a bully will never stop,” Chris Mattei said during opening statements on Tuesday, according to Law & Crime.

Gustaf Kilander reports.

Sandy Hook families blast ‘bully’ Alex Jones as damages trial begins

Sister of Sandy Hook teacher says family ‘feared for lives’

09:00 , Oliver O'Connell

The sister of a teacher who died during the Sandy Hook massacre broke down in tears as she testified that her family “feared for our lives” after Alex Jones branded the shooting a hoax.

Carlee Soto-Parisi told the court that her family was threatened and harassed as Jones made wild allegations about false-flag operations and paid crisis actors in the wake of the 2012 elementary school shooting.

Ms Soto-Parisi’s 27-year-old sister, Vicki Soto, was murdered by gunman Adam Lanza when he attacked the school, killing 26 children and teachers.

Graeme Massie reports on the first day in court.

Sister of Sandy Hook teacher says family ‘feared for lives’ after Alex Jones claims

ICYMI: Alex Jones begs Trump to watch his show after publicly backing DeSantis

07:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones created a minor media storm this week when he announced that he would no longer “pigheadedly” support Donald Trump.

Instead, he announced on his Infowars show that he would now be supporting Florida Governor Ron DeSantis saying he was “someone who is better than Trump”.

However, since then Mr Jones has personally reached out with an “emergency message” begging the former president to watch his whole show after his newfound love for Governor DeSantis made headlines.

Alex Jones begs Trump to watch video for context after saying he now backs DeSantis

ICYMI: Jones abandons Trump for Ron DeSantis

06:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Infowars founder Alex Jones has withdrawn his support for Donald Trump and thrown his weight behind Florida governor Ron DeSantis.

In an Infowars broadcast, Mr Jones announced he would no longer “pigheadedly” support Mr Trump.

“We have someone who is better than Trump. Way better than Trump,” Mr Jones said, adding that the Florida governor is the person Mr Trump “should be like”.

Sravasti Dasgupta reports:

Alex Jones abandons Trump for Ron DeSantis: ‘We have someone way better’

ICYMI: Alex Jones sarcastically claims he killed Sandy Hook victims in unhinged rant

04:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Infowars host Alex Jones sarcastically claimed he killed Sandy Hook victims in an unhinged rant about the $50m defamation verdict that a Texas jury made against him.

Jones made the inflammatory comments, his first since losing a defamation case brought by the family of one of the school children murdered in the mass shooting, during an interview with YouTube journalist Andrew Callaghan.

Graeme Massie reports.

Alex Jones sarcastically claims he killed Sandy Hook victims in unhinged rant

Judge calls Jones’ lawyers’ behaviour ‘quite shocking'

03:00 , Oliver O'Connell

The judge in Connecticut in charge of the upcoming defamation trial of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has scorned his lawyers, outlining a number of ethics violations that she believes the pair may have committed.

The attorneys are facing allegations that they revealed confidential medical and psychiatric information of the plaintiffs associated with the 2012 Sandy Elementary school shooting, in which 26 people were killed.

Gustaf Kilander reports.

Judge in Sandy Hook case calls Alex Jones lawyers’ behaviour ‘quite shocking’

ICYMI: Alex Jones lawyer pleads the Fifth before trial

02:00 , Oliver O'Connell

A lawyer for c onspiracy theorist Alex Jones invoked his right against self-incrimination Thursday during a civil court hearing in Connecticut over the possible improper disclosure of confidential medical records of relatives of some of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims.

New Haven-based attorney Norman Pattis refused to answer questions citing his Fifth Amendment rights during a hearing on whether he should be disciplined for giving the confidential records to unauthorized persons — other lawyers for Jones in Texas.

Alex Jones lawyer takes the Fifth during Sandy Hook hearing

Watch: Alex Jones lawyer and judge clash again

01:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Jones is accused of hiding millions of dollars to avoid paying Sandy Hook families

Thursday 15 September 2022 00:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Alex Jones has been accused of hiding millions of dollars in an attempt to avoid paying damages to the families of victims of the Sandy Hook massacre who were terrorised for years because of his lies.

The families of nine victims killed in the 2012 mass shooting filed new court documents on Thursday alleging that the far-right conspiracy theorist “systematically transferred millions of dollars” to himself, his relatives and companies that he owns – all the while claiming he was bankrupt and unable to pay his debts.

Rachel Sharp has the story.

Alex Jones accused of hiding millions of dollars to avoid paying Sandy Hook families

Watch: Infowars rep pressed on comments comparing Sandy Hook to Reichstag

Wednesday 14 September 2022 23:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Alex Jones and Infowars sanctioned just minutes into second damages trial

Wednesday 14 September 2022 23:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Alex Jones and Infowars were sanctioned just minutes into the second damages trial over his false claims about the Sandy Hook school shooting.

The trial started on Tuesday in Connecticut, not far from where the shooting took place almost a decade ago on 14 December 2012.

Gustaf Kilander reports on day one of the new trial.

Alex Jones sanctioned minutes into damages trial over Sandy Hook claims

Why is Alex Jones on trial again over his Sandy Hook conspiracies?

Wednesday 14 September 2022 22:20 , Oliver O'Connell

Conspiracy theorist and conservative radio host Alex Jones is back on trial just a month after a judge ordered he pay nearly $50m for damages caused by his insistence that the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax.

Here’s why:

Why Alex Jones is headed to trial again over his Sandy Hook conspiracy theories

Watch what you do on the witness stand ⌚️

Wednesday 14 September 2022 21:50 , Oliver O'Connell

Witness Brittany Paz got into a little bit of trouble with Judge Barbara Bellis today for repeatedly looking at her Apple watch. She was instructed to put it in airplane mode.

Court adjourns for the day

Wednesday 14 September 2022 21:29 , Oliver O'Connell

Voicing a desire to let the jury out early today, Judge Barbara Bellis adjourns the court for the day.

Proceedings will begin again tomorrow morning at 10am and Ms Paz will return to the witness stand.

Wednesday 14 September 2022 21:06 , Oliver O'Connell

The court is hearing how Jones gave a spotlight to both Dan Bidondi — who went to Newtown in 2014 and harassed school officials and has previously railed about 9/11 being an inside job — and Wolfgang Halbig, who repeatedly came onto Infowars to spread lies about Sandy Hook.

Wednesday 14 September 2022 20:49 , Oliver O'Connell

Mr Mattei has Ms Paz read out an email from Sandy Hook parent Lenny Pozner to Infowars begging Jones to stop calling him and other grieving parents crisis actors.

Mr Pozner, whose 6-year-old son Noah died in the shooting, wrote: “I’m very disappointed at how many ppl are directing more anger at families that lost their children in Newtown accusing us of being actors.”

“Haven’t we had our share of pain and suffering? I used to enjoy listening to your shows prior to 12-14-12. Now I feel that your type of show created these hateful people and need to be reeled in!”

In response, Paul Watson of Infowars wrote: “Sir, we have not promoted the actors thing. In fact we have actively distanced ourselves from it.”

Asked if that was true, Ms Paz replied that there were still people at Infowars still running the crisis actors story.

Wednesday 14 September 2022 20:39 , Oliver O'Connell

After a ten-minute break, Mr Mattei shows the court a 2013 email from an Infowars employee to James Tracy, a Florida professor who said the shooting was fake.

The email says that Jones wants him to talk about “crisis actors”, and they ran the interview in January 2013.

Mr Tracy was invited on the show to repeat his lies. As a result, he was later fired from his job.

Wednesday 14 September 2022 20:09 , Oliver O'Connell

Further conspiracies include speculation about the presence of a second shooter at Sandy Hook. Ms Paz concedes that Infowars now understands that was not the case.

A movie released years before the school shooting tragedy called The Sandy Hook Lingerie Party Massacre is brought up and emails from Adan Salazar of Infowars to a movie reviewer are shown to the court.

Mr Salazar said in the email there was a “vicious rumor” that the movie showed planning of the attack on the school years later.

“At first we thought this was surely ridiculous, however, we going to point it out anyway and would like to give you the opportunity to comment.”

“You are seriously ill to send me something like that,” the email response read. “Don’t contact me anymore I will report you for harassment you bunch of weirdos.”

The email was sent one week after the shooting.

Wednesday 14 September 2022 20:02 , Oliver O'Connell

Mr Mattei is taking the court on a tour of the conspiracies publicised by Jones on his show in his questioning of Ms Paz.

He brings up a video of Jones saying the Illuminati putting a reference to Sandy Hook in the movie The Dark Knight Rises before the shooting ever happened.

Later he references a headline five days after the shooting.

“Father Of Sandy Hook Victims Asks ‘Read The Card?’ Seconds Before Tear-jerking Press Conference” — It refers to Robbie Parker, who gave a press conference discussing his daughter Emilie, who was killed in the shooting.

Jones took a clip of Mr Parker nervously laughing as proof that he was a crisis actor. Mr Parker is in the courtroom and is asked to stand up so Ms Paz can see him.

Wednesday 14 September 2022 19:42 , Oliver O'Connell

Ms Paz’s role is to research and then represent the company. There are large gaps in her knowledge of what would be presumed to be basic information.

She does not know the length of Jones’ show. She has not spoken with him in the past five months. She has not spoken with Jones about what he said on air on the day of the Sandy Hook massacre.

Ms Paz says she was not provided with a video of Jones’ show from that day. She is shown the video for the first time in court.

Jones often speaks about false flag events (tragedies, shootings, bombings) and references the Reichstag fire in Berlin in 1933 that swept Hitler to power. Ms Paz could not remember what the significance of the fire was.

Court resumes

Wednesday 14 September 2022 19:14 , Oliver O'Connell

Court resumes with Brittany Paz still on the stand.

She is the appointed corporate representative of Jones’ company Infowars.

Ms Paz is asked to review part of Jones’ deposition given ahead of the Connecticut trial. In it Mr Jones confirms the idea behind promoting the Infowars brand on social media — more and more people will come to the site from social media platforms and hopefully buy his merchandise.

'There were false statements' on Sandy Hook

Wednesday 14 September 2022 18:35 , Oliver O'Connell

A lawyer for conspiracy theorist Alex Jones‘ Infowars empire acknowledged on the witness stand Wednesday that the show and website spread falsehoods about the Sandy Hook school shooting.

“I don’t think that we disagree that there were false statements made,” Brittany Paz testified at a civil trial involving Jones’ claims that the nation’s deadliest school shooting was a hoax concocted as a pretext to tighten gun regulations.

Infowars lawyer: 'There were false statements' on Sandy Hook

Wednesday 14 September 2022 17:55 , Oliver O'Connell

Mr Mattei plays a video of Jones saying that the Boston bombing, Aurora movie theatre shooting, and the Oklahoma City bombing were faked and also referencing Sandy Hook being staged.

There is a history of Jones claiming such tragedies are staged as part of his conspiracy theory that a globalist elite is plotting to enslave and kill people, but if listeners/viewers buy his products (supplements, food buckets etc) they can avoid some of the harms this group supposedly wants to inflict on them.

The court breaks for lunch.

Wednesday 14 September 2022 17:37 , Oliver O'Connell

Ms Paz is asked about her meeting with Jones. In her notes, she wrote that he is “NOT A JOURNALIST”.

She tells the court: “He wanted me to understand that’s what his position was.”

Mr Mattei points out that he describes himself as a journalist on his show and has previously claimed to have done “deep research” on topics including Sandy Hook.

Ms Paz acknowledges that Jones “doesn’t do independent analysis” of what he reads out on air from various sources.

He claimed on air that the Sandy Hook massacre “pretty much just didn’t happen”.

Wednesday 14 September 2022 17:22 , Oliver O'Connell

Given the enormous traffic and audience that Infowars enjoyed during the period in which Jones would speak about Sandy Hook, Ms Paz is asked whether she could ascertain from the company’s business model whether he had become a very rich man.

Ms Paz says she is not able to talk about his personal finances.

Wednesday 14 September 2022 17:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Mr Mattei takes Ms Paz through the media kit for Infowars that would be sent to potential advertisers.

There is a great deal of data regarding audience size, traffic, ranking against other websites, and the demographics of users.

Ms Paz is asked what the source of the data would be. She does not know.

Wednesday 14 September 2022 16:59 , Oliver O'Connell

Data is shown to the court of Infowars’ Facebook activity in 2016.

The numbers are intimidating:

- 4.16 billion impressions

- 42.9 million post engagements

- 29.4 million link clicks

Court resumes

Wednesday 14 September 2022 16:38 , Oliver O'Connell

Court takes a mid-morning recess

Wednesday 14 September 2022 16:21 , Oliver O'Connell

The court has taken its mid-morning recess.

Just before the break, Mr Mattei asked Ms Paz about Jones asking for sales numbers from the Infowars store every day, which she does not dispute.

Mr Mattei asks whether the company and Jones would then try and replicate what he was talking about on air in order to also replicate good sales says.

The implication from the plaintiffs’ lawyer is that the Sandy Hook hoax coverage was good for business and so they continued to push the conspiracy.

Wednesday 14 September 2022 16:17 , Oliver O'Connell

Ms Paz says that Infowars doesn’t use Google Analytics. This was at the centre of yesterday’s sanctions against the defence for not providing Google Analytics data to the plaintiffs’ attorneys claiming they didn’t have it, when they did.

Ms Paz is shown the data and says she was told by the company that they did not use Google Analytics on a regular basis, but “they would only pull it at the request for litigation purposes and sporadically the request of various people, but it wasn’t actively used in the marketing strategy”.

Wednesday 14 September 2022 16:02 , Oliver O'Connell

Mr Mattei questions Ms Paz about how “very, very early on, Jones realised the power of social media to spread his content”.

He establishes that Infowars traffic drastically increased after 2012 and that by 2015 the company’s content got 2 billion impressions on social media, 28 million engagements — likes, comments, etc, and 24 million link clicks.

Jones was subsequently de-platformed but during this period he was airing content about Sandy Hook being a hoax and featuring commentators like Wolfgang Halbig.

Mr Mattei asks Ms Paz about Infowars’ use of “clickbait” that was not true, such as “Connecticut School Massacre Looks Like False Flag, Witnesses Say.”

Ms Paz says: “I don’t think we disagree there were false statements made” about Sandy Hook.

Wednesday 14 September 2022 15:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Questioning of Ms Paz by the plaintiff’s attorney Christopher Mattei appears to be aimed at establishing Alex Jones’ complete control of Free Speech Systems/Infowars.

Ms Paz notes that a huge proportion of the business is from supplement sales, though she cannot precisely say how much.

She is also unaware that Jones’ father David Jones was being paid $400,000 a year by Infowars, nor how many studios they operate.

On the topic of cryptocurrency donations to Infowars Ms Paz agrees that such donations go direct to Jones. She acknowledges that he does not tell his audience this.

Witness: Brittany Paz

Wednesday 14 September 2022 15:19 , Oliver O'Connell

The first witness of the day is Brittany Paz, a corporate representative for Free Speech Systems, the parent company of Infowars.

Ms Paz was selected in late January of this year and speaks on behalf of the corporate entity and should not just parrot what Alex Jones says about the company.

Prior to her selection for this trial, Ms Paz had no knowledge of the company’s inner workings until she was selected for this role. She is not an Infowars employee.

 (Law & Crime)
(Law & Crime)

Court resumes for Day 2 of the Alex Jones Sandy Hook ‘hoax’ lawsuit

Wednesday 14 September 2022 15:13 , Oliver O'Connell

After a number of housekeeping issues are addressed the jury is brought in to begin day two of the trial to determine the damages Alex Jones must pay the plaintiffs having been found liable without a trial in 2021 after failing to turn over documents.

Sister of Sandy Hook teacher says Alex Jones hoax claims made family ‘fear for lives’

Wednesday 14 September 2022 14:45 , Oliver O'Connell

The sister of a teacher who died during the Sandy Hook massacre broke down in tears as she testified that her family “feared for our lives” after Alex Jones branded the shooting a hoax.

Carlee Soto-Parisi told the court that her family was threatened and harassed as Jones made wild allegations about false-flag operations and paid crisis actors in the wake of the 2012 elementary school shooting.

Ms Soto-Parisi’s 27-year-old sister, Vicki Soto, was murdered by gunman Adam Lanza when he attacked the school, killing 26 children and teachers.

Graeme Massie reports on some of yesterday’s moving testimony.

Sister of Sandy Hook teacher says family ‘feared for lives’ after Alex Jones claims

Sandy Hook families: ‘Bully’ Alex Jones will ‘never stop’ unless held responsible

Wednesday 14 September 2022 14:15 , Oliver O'Connell

A lawyer representing eight families who lost family members in the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre tore into Infowars founder Alex Jones as the second damages trial against him began in Connecticut.

“Unless you stand up to bullies, a bully will never stop,” Chris Mattei said during opening statements on Tuesday, according to Law & Crime.

Norm Pattis, a lawyer for Mr Jones, told the jury that their task is not to stop the Infowars host.

Gustaf Kilander reports on day one of the conspiracy theorist’s second defamation trial.

Sandy Hook families blast ‘bully’ Alex Jones as damages trial begins

How did the jury deliberations go in Alex Jones’ first defamation case?

Wednesday 14 September 2022 13:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Jurors in Alex Jones‘ defamation trial reportedly sparred over how much money the conspiracy theorist television host should pay to the families of Sandy Hook victims.

According to one juror, who spoke with Reuters, sums discussed for Jones’ penalty ranged between $500,000 to $200m.

“We saw those numbers on the board and someone said, ‘Well, I guess we’re never leaving this room,’” Sharon, the juror who spoke with Reuters, said.

Graig Graziosi reports.

Alex Jones juror breaks silence on tense deliberations in Sandy Hook case

Alex Jones issues ‘emergency message’ begging Trump to watch his show

Wednesday 14 September 2022 12:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones created a minor media storm this week when he announced that he would no longer “pigheadedly” support Donald Trump.

Instead, he announced on his Infowars show that he would now be supporting Florida Governor Ron DeSantis saying he was “someone who is better than Trump”.

However, since then Mr Jones has personally reached out with an “emergency message” begging the former president to watch his whole show after his newfound love for Governor DeSantis made headlines.

Alex Jones begs Trump to watch video for context after saying he now backs DeSantis

Alex Jones accused of hiding millions to avoid Sandy Hook defamation payouts

Wednesday 14 September 2022 11:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Alex Jones has been accused of hiding millions of dollars in an attempt to avoid paying damages to the families of victims of the Sandy Hook massacre who were terrorised for years because of his lies.

The families of nine victims killed in the 2012 mass shooting filed new court documents on Thursday alleging that the far-right conspiracy theorist “systematically transferred millions of dollars” to himself, his relatives and companies that he owns – all the while claiming he was bankrupt and unable to pay his debts.

Rachel Sharp has the details.

Alex Jones accused of hiding millions of dollars to avoid paying Sandy Hook families

Alex Jones lawyer pleads the Fifth during Sandy Hook hearing

Wednesday 14 September 2022 10:45 , Oliver O'Connell

A lawyer for conspiracy theorist Alex Jones invoked his right against self-incrimination on Thursday during a civil court hearing in Connecticut over the possible improper disclosure of confidential medical records of relatives of some of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims.

Read more:

Alex Jones lawyer takes the Fifth during Sandy Hook hearing

Alex Jones claims ‘Deep State’ will stage mass shootings to steal midterms

Wednesday 14 September 2022 09:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has absurdly warned that leftist “Deep State” globalists are plotting to stage false flag violent events to win the midterm elections for Democrats - just weeks after he publicly admitted to making false claims about the Sandy Hook massacre being a hoax.

Speaking on his Infowars show, Mr Jones asserted that the “Deep State” would blame staged violence on far-right groups in an effort to take over the country in the run-up to the midterm elections.

Alex Jones absurdly claims ‘Deep State’ will stage mass shootings to steal midterms

Watch: Conspiracy theorists claimed FBI agent was fake

Wednesday 14 September 2022 08:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Alex Jones sarcastically claims he killed Sandy Hook victims

Wednesday 14 September 2022 06:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Infowars host Alex Jones sarcastically claimed he killed Sandy Hook victims in an unhinged rant about the $50m defamation verdict that a Texas jury made against him.

Jones made the inflammatory comments, his first since losing a defamation case brought by the family of one of the school children murdered in the mass shooting, during an interview with YouTube journalist Andrew Callaghan.

Graeme Massie reports.

Alex Jones sarcastically claims he killed Sandy Hook victims in unhinged rant

Watch: Heated exchange between judge and counsel

Wednesday 14 September 2022 04:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Sandy Hook families: ‘Bully’ Alex Jones will ‘never stop’ unless held responsible

Wednesday 14 September 2022 03:45 , Oliver O'Connell

A lawyer representing eight families who lost family members in the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre tore into Infowars founder Alex Jones as the second damages trial against him began in Connecticut.

“Unless you stand up to bullies, a bully will never stop,” Chris Mattei said during opening statements on Tuesday, according to Law & Crime.

Gustaf Kilander reports.

Sandy Hook families blast ‘bully’ Alex Jones as damages trial begins

Watch: FBI agent details threats received after Sandy Hook shooting

Wednesday 14 September 2022 02:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Alex Jones and Infowars sanctioned just minutes into second damages trial

Wednesday 14 September 2022 01:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Alex Jones and Infowars were sanctioned just minutes into the second damages trial over his false claims about the Sandy Hook school shooting.

The trial started on Tuesday in Connecticut, where the shooting took place almost a decade ago on 14 December 2012.

Judge Barbara Bellis issued a ruling that Mr Jones and Infowars will not be allowed to argue that they didn’t make considerable profits from covering the shooting because they didn’t hand over Google Analytics data concerning the traffic of Infowars to the plaintiffs, Vice reported.

Alex Jones sanctioned minutes into damages trial over Sandy Hook claims

Watch: Tearful testimony from sister of victim

Wednesday 14 September 2022 00:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Why is Alex Jones on trial again over his Sandy Hook conspiracies?

Tuesday 13 September 2022 23:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Conspiracy theorist and conservative radio host Alex Jones is going back to trial a month after a judge ordered he pay nearly $50m for damages caused by his insistence that the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax.

Jones has already been found liable for causing emotional and psychological harm to the families of the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting. Following the attack, he made numerous claims suggesting the shooting was a hoax intended to help justify a government-led confiscation of Americans’ guns.

Graig Graziosi reports.

Why Alex Jones is headed to trial again over his Sandy Hook conspiracy theories

Tuesday 13 September 2022 22:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Judge Bellis schooled counsel several times during day one of the trial.

Just before the end of the day, she struck from the record what she deemed as “entirely improper comments” made by defence attorney Norm Pattis.

Tuesday 13 September 2022 21:57 , Oliver O'Connell

After a brief, objection-peppered, cross-examination, Mr Pattis says he has no further questions and the jury is dismissed for the day.

Tuesday 13 September 2022 21:50 , Oliver O'Connell

Closing out her direct testimony, Carlee answers that her sister lived and Sandy Hook was real.

Cross-examination begins.

Tuesday 13 September 2022 21:49 , Oliver O'Connell

In addition to online harassment, Carlee recalls a man showing up at a 5K race they would hold each year in honour of Vicky.

“He showed up waving a picture, one that was similar to the one you guys saw” and saying “This never happened” and calling her and her family crisis actors.

The harasser wore a Team Vicki shirt “just to make it worse,” she adds.

Watch: ‘This is 10 years of..this is just awful...what are we doing here?’

Tuesday 13 September 2022 21:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Tuesday 13 September 2022 21:42 , Oliver O'Connell

Other conspiracies included that Vicky wasn’t real and that the family were all actors.

“It makes me angry,” Carlee says. “I’m not a liar.”

“You can’t grieve properly because you’re constantly defending yourself and your loved ones.”

Carlee recalls a woman that went to school with her thought she had made it all up — “I just couldn’t wrap my head around that.”

Having moved to North Carolina with her husband, a marine, she met the wife of another servicemember who asked if it had really happened.

Tuesday 13 September 2022 21:37 , Oliver O'Connell

Carlee recalls finding out that there were people who believed Sandy Hook was a hoax.

It was in the first couple of months that people kept posting a picture of Carlee crying outside the school which had become famous. They would put them alongside other photos of young women caught up in other tragedies such as the Boston bombing and Aurora shooting and allege it was all the same crisis actor.

 (AP)
(AP)

The theories about her snowballed. Carlee saw tons of posts about her on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram.

“I had no idea why someone would make this up. I was so confused,” she recalls. “You feel so small.”

She adds: “You’re just one person. What can you do?”

Tuesday 13 September 2022 21:33 , Oliver O'Connell

At the firehouse, Carlee remembers a parent standing up and yelling, demanding to know what hospital their kids were at.

They were told in response that everyone in the room had lost a loved one. She thinks the Governor told them this.

She remembers running out of the room after this and fell into a firefighter’s arms who was standing outside.

Her dad came up behind her and said “we need to go home, there’s no reason for us to stay here anymore”.

Tuesday 13 September 2022 21:31 , Oliver O'Connell

After giving a description to a state trooper with the help of a teacher who has seen what Vicky was wearing, Carlee waited at a barrier set up around the school and kept trying to contact her sister by text and voicemail.

Asked if she had heard of Alex Jones before this, she says no. Carlee says people were taking it seriously and there was no evidence of it being fake — no “frauds, actors, or imposters”.

Tuesday 13 September 2022 21:24 , Oliver O'Connell

Ms Soto Parisi is asked about her home life and recalls that the night before she died Vicky came home with a big bag of Scholastic books for her classroom.

Carlee says Vicky was “one of the first in the building and one of the last to leave.”

That morning Carlee heard her get up, stomping around getting ready. She didn’t see her though.

Later that morning Vicky was called by her mother who drove her and her brother to Sandy Hook. She remembers lots of people running and crying around the school. They were directed to the firehouse which had been set up as a meeting point.

No one had seen Vicky.

Witness: Carlee Soto-Parisi

Tuesday 13 September 2022 21:15 , Oliver O'Connell

The next witness is Carlee Soto-Parisi, the sister of Vicky Soto, one of the teachers murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School on 14 December 2012.

She is married with three children and is a stay-at-home mother.

Vicky was 27 when she died, ten years ago. The whole family, including all four siblings, lived with their parents at the time in Stratford at the time.

Watch: Judge Bellis tells off attorneys for squabbling in court

Tuesday 13 September 2022 21:10 , Oliver O'Connell

Lawyer for Sandy Hook families blasts Alex Jones as second damages trial begins

Tuesday 13 September 2022 21:00 , Oliver O'Connell

A lawyer representing eight families who lost family members in the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre tore into Infowars founder Alex Jones as the second damages trial against him began in Connecticut.

“Unless you stand up to bullies, a bully will never stop,” Chris Mattei said during opening statements on Tuesday, according to Law & Crime.

Gustaf Kilander is watching the trial.

Sandy Hook families’ lawyer blasts Alex Jones as second damages trial begins

Tuesday 13 September 2022 20:56 , Oliver O'Connell

After a short redirect and the failure to play a video, the court take a five-minute recess before the next witness is called.

Tuesday 13 September 2022 20:53 , Oliver O'Connell

Mr Pattis asks who are the powerful people that Jones is affiliated with.

Mr Aldenberg asks if Mr Pattis knows who Joe Rogan is and he asks: “Is Joe Rogan harassing you too?”

There is a wave of squabbling and backtalk at which point Judge Bellis shouts: “Counsel, sidebar!”

Both attorneys sheepishly approach the bench and agree to something the judge tells them.

Shortly after, Mr Pattis finishes cross-examination and re-direct begins.

Tuesday 13 September 2022 20:51 , Oliver O'Connell

The jury is sent out for an extensive sidebar regarding mentions of Hillary Clinton and Megyn Kelly by Mr Pattis.

Mr Mattei says Mr Pattis’ trial strategy is to inject political opinion and viewpoints into the arguments.

Mr Pattis argues that Mr Mattei already did that with his opening statement.

The judge rules against Mr Pattis who said he will not mention Ms Kelly and will move on.

Tuesday 13 September 2022 20:35 , Oliver O'Connell

“When did you first learn the name Alex Jones?” Mr Pattis asks.

Mr Aldenberg says he assumes he learned it from the victims’ specialist. He thinks he learned about Halbig targeting him from the New Haven division of the FBI.

Regarding the messages he received, Mr Pattis asks if anyone was ever arrested for threatening Mr Aldenberg online. No one was.

Tuesday 13 September 2022 20:28 , Oliver O'Connell

Cross-examination begins with Mr Pattis asking if Mr Aldenberg considers himself a first responder. He responds that he does not.

He is then asked about how often he saw his therapist after Sandy Hook. Mr Aldenberg says he had approximately a dozen sessions ranging from 10 to 30 minutes both in-person and by phone.

Tuesday 13 September 2022 20:08 , Oliver O'Connell

Court takes a 15 minute break and will resume with cross-examination of Mr Aldenberg by Mr Pattis of the defence team.

Tuesday 13 September 2022 20:08 , Oliver O'Connell

“Some of these people are very deranged,” Mr Aldenberg testifies, adding that the enormity of Alex Jones’ audience made him worry for his family.

“This whole thing is messed up,” he says, noting that it has now amounted to ten years of harassment.

“What are we doing here?” he asks, emotionally.

Mr Aldenberg says he googles himself about once a week for the safety of his family to see if there are any new theories or threats. He reiterates that the conspiracy theorists are “deranged” and could be outside the courthouse today.

When asked about the involvement of Mr Wheeler in the theories about him, Mr Aldenberg cries again and says he finds that the worst part and takes some responsibility for the harassment that Mr Wheeler has had to endure since the death of his son.

Tuesday 13 September 2022 20:00 , Oliver O'Connell

“At some point you have to just accept it,” Mr Aldenberg says, adding that Alex Jones and his company are “very powerful people” and he can’t defend himself alone.

His attempts to get help from the FBI and the association for agents went nowhere.

Mr Aldenberg would get “violent, threatening” messages from a man called John Santiago saying he was David Wheeler. The man’s Facebook profile picture was a split image of the two men.

Santiago contacted FBI agents who warned Mr Aldeneberg that he sounded dangerous.

Wolfgang Halbig — who appeared on Alex Jones’ show — was also calling and emailing the FBI, saying Mr Aldenberg wasn’t an FBI agent, he testified.

The defence keeps objecting over speculation and hearsay. Mr Aldenberg tries to reframe his answers appropriately, but remains emotional.

Tuesday 13 September 2022 19:52 , Oliver O'Connell

Mr Aldenberg recalls how eventually he became the centre of conspiracy theories, more than two years after the tragedy.

Some people online started analysing photos showing Mr Aldenberg saying he wasn’t a real FBI agent and that he was an actor, he testifies.

He again starts hyperventilating when he recalls conspiracy theorists saying he was the same person as David Wheeler, whose son Ben died in the attack.

Mr Aldenberg describes the conspiracy theories as “crushing” adding that people created social media accounts under his name “and spread this filth”.

Tuesday 13 September 2022 19:42 , Oliver O'Connell

Mr Mattei establishes that Mr Aldenberg reutned to Sandy Hook after the tragedy because there were “threats being made to the children’s funerals,” that people were “going to come and cause trouble at the funerals.”

He worked security at one of the children’s funerals at Trinity Episcopal Church in January 2013. At that time Mr Aldenberg also became in-house counsel for the FBI in Connecticut and oversaw a victims’ assistance program.

One of the victims’ specialists he oversaw spent about 18 months responding to threats and harassment that Sandy Hook families said they were experiencing.

“It was constant,” he said, recalling that there were death threats and anonymous phone calls to people all over town from “seriously disturbed people”.