Alex Jones, the far-right Infowars broadcaster and supporter of former President Donald J. Trump, has spent more than two decades and earned millions of dollars fanning distrust and defiance of what he refers to as the “deep state” of the United States government. Mr. Jones is seeking federal assistance now that his conspiratorial business is in jeopardy, according to reports.
As a result of being threatened with monetary damages for smearing the families of Sandy Hook shooting victims, Mr. Jones filed for emergency relief in federal bankruptcy court last week, an action that was criticised by a monitor from the Justice Department’s bankruptcy unit, Kevin Epstein, as a possible “abuse of the bankruptcy system.”
Mr. Epstein, in an objection filed with Judge Christopher Lopez, said that the petition seemed to be an attempt by Mr. Jones to postpone the damages proceedings and drive the families into a settlement dictated by him, all while maintaining control over his firm. He went on to say that approving Mr. Jones’s approach would run the danger of “intentionally stacking the deck against the most vulnerable of creditors.”
Days later, Mr. Jones contacted the Justice Department, seeking to discuss what he knew about the Capitol violence on January 6, 2021, in return for immunity from prosecution. Mr. Jones was granted immunity from prosecution. According to two persons who are acquainted with Mr. Jones’ offer, an immunity agreement seems doubtful.
As a daring truth-teller, Mr. Jones defends the First Amendment against government attempts to muzzle him. He has been dubbed “The Truth Teller.” However, his replies to the Jan. 6 probe as well as the Sandy Hook litigation indicate that he is primarily concerned with safeguarding his financial security. Attorneys for the families of ten Sandy Hook victims sued Mr. Jones for defamation. Mr. Jones lost the lawsuits last year and has since been seeking to protect his riches from any future damages judgments.
Mr. Jones, who broadcasts his conspiracy theories alongside advertisements for diet supplements, doomsday prep gear, videos, and other goods aimed at instilling distrust in his listeners’ government, is expected to earn $56 million in revenue in 2021, according to an estimate made last week by one of his attorneys.
More than $1 million in court fines were levied on Mr. Jones over the course of four years of litigation, mostly for failing to meet court deadlines, dodging court requirements for documents and evidence, and presenting company records that were inaccurate or fraudulent. Towards the end of 2021, the judges in each trial found Mr. Jones responsible by default, providing the families with a resounding win. In the next phase, juries will determine how much Mr. Jones must pay in damages, in trials that were scheduled to begin this week.
The fact that Mr. Jones did not file for bankruptcy on his own behalf, despite the fact that he creates and controls all of Infowars’ revenue and is the primary defendant in the Sandy Hook litigation, lends credence to this point of view. As opposed to this, the bankruptcy petition was for three Infowars offshoots that had no revenue or assets, and no workers.
Mr. Jones’ bankruptcy, according to Mark Schwartz, an accountant and Infowars’ proposed restructuring officer, would “ruin his brand and hinder his ability to sell stuff,” he said in a statement last week.
Mr. Jones is requesting that the bankruptcy court authorise a $10 million settlement fund, which will be divided among the claimants in a number of claims against him. Families of Sandy Hook were given the choice between taking their chances in a lawsuit that has dragged on for four years or accepting a fraction of the estimated half-billion dollars Mr. Jones and his misinformation empire have earned since their loved ones’ murders. The Sandy Hook families chose the latter option.