An attorney representing the parents of Sandy Hook shooting victims on Thursday confirmed that the Jan. 6 Select Committee is requesting two years-worth of records from the phone of far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, and claimed other federal entities were also interested in the records. The news comes a day after Rolling Stone reported on the development.
During a hearing Thursday in Jones’ defamation trial, Sandy Hook attorney Mark Bankston said that the Jan. 6 Select Committee has asked him to hand over digital records from Jones’ phone, which Jones’ lawyer had sent to Bankston in what appears to have been a mistake.
“I’ve been asked by the January 6 committee to turn the documents over,” Bankston reportedly said at one point.
Bankston’s remarks were issued as Jones’ attorney Andino Reynal requested that a mistrial be declared, a move Texas District Court Judge Maya Guerra Gamble later denied.
“I am under request from various federal agencies and law enforcement to provide (the records),” Bankston told Judge Gamble. “Absent a ruling from you saying you cannot do that … I intend to do so immediately following this hearing.”
“I believe that there is absolutely nothing, nothing, that Mr. Reynal has done to fulfill his obligations to protect his client and prevent me from doing that,” Bankston continued, according to CNN.
Reynal sought a mistrial a day after Bankston revealed that he had been unintentionally sent the records. The revelation allowed Bankston to dispute Jones’ earlier claim under oath that he did not have any texts related to the Sandy Hook massacre.
Reynal argued that the records he mistakenly shared with Bankston should have been returned and that any copies should be destroyed. Bankston said Wednesday that he had offered Reynal that opportunity, and that Reynal had not replied.
The judge denied Reynal’s motion for a mistrial.
Bankston’s confirmation of the Jan. 6 Select Committee’s interest in Jones’ phone records comes a day after Rolling Stone reported that the panel is preparing to subpoena Jones’ text and emails in light of Bankston’s bombshell revelation.
The panel reportedly began to prepare a request for Jones’ records “within minutes” of Bankston revealing the text-transfer debacle, according to Rolling Stone.
Jones’ ongoing trial comes after he falsely claimed that the Sandy Hook massacre was a hoax. Last year, Jones lost four defamation cases that were filed against him by the families of the victims of the 2012 shooing at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, in which a gunman fatally shot 20 elementary school students and six educators. Jones failed to produce documents and testimony ordered by courts in Texas and Connecticut.
Following Jones’ series of defeats, three trials for damages were set in motion, with the first one being held in Austin this week.
Jones has also been of interest to the Jan. 6 Select Committee in the past year. He was initially subpoenaed by the panel in November, requesting that he turn over documents and participate in a deposition. Jones is seen as a key figure in inciting the mob that stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6. Jones also has ties to Stewart Rhodes, leader of the far-right Oath Keepers who has frequently appeared on Jones’ InfoWars channel.