An attorney for the parents of a Sandy Hook victim who is suing Alex Jones said Thursday that the selected House committee investigating the January 6, 2021 Capitol attack has requested that his text messages and phone records be accidentally sent his legal team.
As Jones sat on the witness stand at his defamation trial in Austin, Texas, on Wednesday, he learned that: his lawyers accidentally sent two years worth of texts from his cell phone to Mark Bankston, an attorney for the plaintiffs — and then failed to note that the messages were protected under attorney-client privilege.
Bankston said in court on Thursday that the committee has requested the text messages and related documents and plans to hand them over unless instructed not to.
“I’ve been asked to hand them over,” Bankston told Judge Maya Guerra Gamble, who oversees the Austin trial. “I certainly intend to, unless you tell me not to.”
Bankston said he also plans to share the messages with plaintiffs’ attorneys in a separate defamation lawsuit against Jones in Connecticut.
Gamble said she would give Jones’ lawyers time to investigate whether they have a legal argument to block the sending of those text messages.
The judge a request rejected by Federico Andino Reynal, Jones’ lead attorney, for a mistrial. Reynal told Gamble that Bankston should have destroyed the data immediately.
Bankston said he notified Reynal of the apparent blunder, but Reynal took no steps to identify the messages as privileged or protected.
Thursday’s exchange took place as the jury deliberated the case against Jones brought by Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, the parents of 6-year-old boy Jesse Lewis, who was killed in the mass shooting along with 19 other children and six adult educators. at Sandy Elementary School Corner.
Heslin and Lewis are seeking $150 million in damages from Jones and his media company Free Speech Systems for falsely claiming the 2012 massacre was a hoax.
The January 6 commission subpoenaed Jones in November over his role in promoting the events leading up to the deadly riots, as well as his ties to Stewart Rhodes, the leader of the Oath Keepers militia.
In January, Jones faced impeachment, later saying he invoked his fifth amendment rights “nearly 100 times” against self-incrimination.