Courts

Texas Conspiracy Theorist and InfoWars Owner Alex Jones Sues U.S. Capitol Riot Committee

Alex Jones was recently subpoenaed to give a deposition to the Jan. 6 committee.
Alex Jones was recently subpoenaed to give a deposition to the Jan. 6 committee. Sean P. Anderson from Dallas, TX, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Alex Jones, the Texas conspiracy theorist and owner of InfoWars, filed a lawsuit Monday against the U.S. Capitol riot select committee that seeks to block lawmakers from accessing his phone records and making him testify at a deposition next month.

Instead, he has offered to provide “written answers” to their questions, an offer the committee has dismissed. Jones was originally subpoenaed last month, but his deposition has been rescheduled for early next year.

In the lawsuit, Jones says the panel wants him to testify on Jan. 10, only a few days after the one-year anniversary of the riot that sought to block lawmakers from certifying President Joe Biden’s November 2020 victory over Donald Trump.

The suit accused the committee of leading a “witch-hunt against political opponents.”  Jones’ lawsuit described the conspiracy theorist as “a controversial American journalist, political commentator, activist and businessman.”

In the lead-up to the riot, Jones and hundreds of others marched to the Capitol, Politico reported Monday. In the wake of the presidential election, Jones joined other prominent Trump supporters in claiming the vote had been rigged against the former president.

Among those individually named in the suit are Democrat and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Republican U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney, Republican U.S. Rep. Adam D. Kinzinger and others.

The lawsuit says the prominent conspiracy theorist will his “assert his First, Fourth, and Fifth Amendment rights to decline to produce the documents requested by the Select Committee,” insisting that Jones’ actions on that day were all constitutionally protected.

According to the suit, the committee also subpoenaed AT&T, Jones’ wireless carrier, in order to obtain his phone records from Nov. 1, 2020, until Jan. 31, 2021.

On his show Monday, Jones claimed the committee was seeking to violate “freedom of the press,” claiming “that the committee is not constituted correctly and that it didn’t even follow the law on how many Republicans it’s supposed to have on it.”

Jones, who hasn’t been charged with any crimes related to the Capitol riot, isn’t the only InfoWars host to get wrapped up in the Jan. 6 aftermath. In August, host Owen Shroyer was hit with misdemeanor charges, including knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or ground without lawful authority and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

Shroyer is one of some 66 Texans who have been charged in relation to the riot. As of last week, at least 727 people around the country had been charged.

Jones, 47, was born in Dallas and spent much of his childhood in Rockwall. Since he launched InfoWars in Austin in 1999, Jones has been embroiled in controversy time and again.

After the December 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, Jones infamously claimed the parents of victims were “actors” and that the attack was a false flag. (Twenty students and six staff members were killed.)

In recent years, Jones became a vocal Trump supporter. When Trump appeared on his show in December 2015, the then presidential candidate told the far-right host, “Your reputation is amazing. I will not let you down.”

But on Monday, Jones blasted Trump for encouraging his followers to take the COVID-19 vaccine, claiming the jab is part of a global conspiracy. 
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Patrick Strickland is the news editor at the Dallas Observer. He's a former senior reporter at Al Jazeera English and has reported for the New York Review of Books, The Guardian, Politico EU and The New Republic, among others.