Alex Jones, the notorious conspiracy theory shock-jock, was dealt a huge blow in court today when he was ordered to hand over key business documents to six families who lost loved ones in the Sandy Hook school shooting. Jones has repeatedly claimed that this shooting was a "false flag" operation and that the families and victims were actors. This court order is connected to a defamation lawsuit filed by the families in Connecticut.
Fortune reports that the court order will give the families' attorneys access to documents that relate to Jones' online show, InfoWars, and his partner companies. They'll be able to see website traffic statistics, business plans, and marketing data, internal communications, and any investigative material he gathered about the 2012 school shooting. "Relevant excerpts" of documents in Jones' child-custody case are also available to the plaintiffs now. The only docs they won't be able to get their hands on are Jones' tax returns and the information he gathered to try to get their lawsuit dismissed.
The families of the Sandy Hook victims say that their grief has been deepened by Jones' claims that the shooting was a hoax. In a statement from their legal team, they write that Jones and his co-defendants "developed, amplified and perpetuated" this story and that it triggered a wave of harassment against the families of victims.
"From the beginning, we have alleged that Alex Jones and his financial network trafficked in lies and hate in order to profit from the grief of Sandy Hook families. That is what we intend to prove, and today's ruling advances that effort," the statement reads, as reported by ABC News. "We look forward to gaining access to Infowars' internal marketing and financial documents to show that Jones has built an empire as nothing more than a conspiracy profiteer, as alleged in our complaint."
Jones and his attorneys have claimed that what he said about the Sandy Hook shooting is covered by his First Amendment right to free speech.This legal victory for the families could be just the beginning of their deep dive into Alex Jones' business truths. Next week, the judge will listen to arguments to determine whether Alex Jones should be deposed by the plaintiffs' attorneys.
This new loss in court continues Jones' and InfoWars' downward spiral. Last year his content was banned from major social media platforms, including YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook. Paypal also stopped processing InfoWars payments last year. The company said that it did so because the content violated their terms of service with regards to encouraging "hate and violence," the BBC reports.