Alex Jones’ Lawyers Accidentally Shared His Entire Phone with Sandy Hook Plaintiff Lawyers

It was a remarkable day in the Alex Jones trial.

After getting Jones to repeat claims he made under oath about not using email and never texting about Sandy Hook, Plaintiff’s lawyer Mark Bankston told Jones he knew he wasn’t telling the truth.

Do you know where I got this. Mr. Jones, did you know 12 days ago your attorneys messed up and sent me an entire digital copy of your entire cell phone, with every text message you’ve sent for the past two years? And when informed, did not take any steps to identify it as privileged, or protected in any way? And as of two days ago, it fell free and clear into my possession. And that is how I know you lied to me when you said you didn’t have text messages about Sandy Hook. Did you know that?

Jones bullshitted for a while. Bankston got Jones to agree he knew what perjury was. Judge Maya Guerra Gamble clarified that these materials had not been shared in discovery (Bankston made sure to get Jones to agree the emails he was asking about had no Bates stamp).

Effectively, Jones not only got exposed in the Sandy Hook lawsuit as lying.

But at a break, one of the plaintiff’s lawyers suggested they were going to share the phone with prosecutors.

You know what nobody’s thought about yet? What happens when that phone goes to law enforcement.

Obviously, given the timing, Jones’ exposure for January 6 would be the most obvious interest (DOJ already has Owen Shroyer’s phone, but Jones would have direct contacts that Shroyer would not).

But during discovery in this case, Jones sent child porn to lawyers for Sandy Hook.

Update: According to Dan Solomon, a journalist covering the trial live, the phone got put into a Dropbox folder both sides were using to share files.

Also here is what happened with Alex Jones’s cell phone, according to Mark Bankston: the phone’s contents were put in a Dropbox folder the two parties had been to using to exchange materials roughly ten days ago.

189 replies
      • Cthulhu says:

        But is he beyond prison? Is he beyond being beggared for his crimes? We’ll see.

        His life SHOULD be over after this. He should being arrested for his perjury.

  1. Terry Salad says:

    Can a legal person please detail exactly how screwed Jones is here? As detailed as possible please. I mean, it’s bad, right? Real bad.

    I will enjoy reading that for a long time.

        • Duke says:

          Wait a second. How does malpractice work? Are you allowed to lie under oath in testimony, discovery, and deposition and malpractice insurers are going pay the financial liabilities incurred for damages committed while breaking the law?

          Acts of god are excluded in many insurance contracts while illegal acts of perjury are legitimately protected from the financial liabilities of a lying bottom feeding disgusting individual?

          Seems nas if malpractice insurance might need reforms with regards to media/ communications.

            • timbo says:

              Is it malpractice to provide evidence to plaintiff counsel that condemns one’s own client who has been lying to the court and plaintiff lawyers ad nauseum for year after year?

              • earlofhuntingdon says:

                If it violates client confidentiality or other rules binding the lawyer, yes, and can and should lead to disbarment. Your outrage is irrelevant to the due process every client is entitled to.

                • timbo says:

                  I never argued against due process here…

                  Also, it doesn’t violate any confidentiality to turn over records that should have been turned over in discovery. In fact, knowingly failing to do so is a no-no, is it not? The complication here is that it appears someone didn’t do due diligence when it came to turning over a data image of the contents of an entire phone.

                  • xy xy says:

                    It’s more than due diligence turning over contents of the entire phone.
                    When plaintiff attorney told defendant’s attorney about it, the defendant’s attorney responded “don’t worry about it”?

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            Malpractice insurance is taken out by lawyers to cover their potential liability related to their inadvertent, negligent acts that cause harm to their client. It does not cover the client, but a client is the intended potential indirect beneficiary. The insurance would not cover things like intentional harm.

            Having it is required, but occasionally giving notice of its absence to the client when entering into an engagement suffices. It would be a red flag that would make most clients walk away.

            • Duke says:

              Thanks for the explanation. I recognize I didn’t clarify appropriately and my intended question was regarding the action by the defense counsel. The request for communications related to Sandy Hook was for very specific. Imaging the entire contents of a device and giving that image to opposing counsel is negligent. If the image was taken from a currently used device there would be a line forming of folks who want a crack at Jones.

          • Fran of the North says:

            Malpractice is also known as Errors and Omissions. If someone, say bmaz, or Dr. Welby or Frank Lloyd Wright holds themselves out to be an expert and / or a professional, their opinion / actions rightly hold more weight than Fran opining about law, medicine or architecture. Because he doesn’t know much about anything.

            E&O protects the professional practitioner from mistakes they commit (a doctor amputates the wrong leg) or omit (asking the patient whether there has been chest pain when climbing the stairs). If these things happen, for example your attorney sends the entire contents of your cell phone to the plaintiff’s attorney, the injured party (defendant) can sue his OWN professional (attorney) for the harm caused.

    • Zirc says:

      I aint no lawyer, but it sounds as though Jones is in a world of hurt. I don’t think his lawyers are in a good place either. This snippet caught my eye:

      “Mr. Jones, did you know 12 days ago your attorneys messed up and sent me an entire digital copy of your entire cell phone, with every text message you’ve sent for the past two years? And when informed, did not take any steps to identify it as privileged, or protected in any way?”

      That second sentence starting, “And when informed . . .” I’d like to know what Jones’ lawyers could have done after being informed. What steps could they have taken? I ask because it’s almost as though someone in the Jones camp purposefully undermined him. I suppose someone besides an actual lawyer could have “accidentally” put the contents of the phone in the drop box, but it was the lawyers themselves who didn’t take any steps after being informed. So, again, what could they have done after the cat was out of the bag?


      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Intentional disclosure seems unlikely. If discovered, it would expose the perpetrators to significant, career-ending consequences, and financial and personal liability.

        It’s more likely to be and is more explicable as a fuck-up. But hiding it from your client for nearly two weeks, having it come out at trial, and not trying to assert privilege over any client communications (even if unsuccessful)? Well, that’s likely to terminate someone’s license to practice law. This will not end happily for anybody.

        • Zirc says:

          Thanks. I agree that it probably is a mistake, but geez, I don’t see how you could screw Jones more on purpose.


          • Rayne says:

            That, exactly. Now Jones has been cracked wide open to all kinds of exposure unrelated to this trial. Only a co-conspirator could have done this much damage to him.

            • Duke says:

              I believe if any technical person comes across child porn during any work on a device some states legally require the authorities to be notified.

              • Rayne says:

                Were the files opened and inspected by persons who would have been obligated to report this had they discovered what the content was?

                I think this line of inquiry is veering off away from the larger issue of a bunch of potentially relevant material related to multiple investigations and civil claims — but that may well be the point of the alleged child porn, poisoning the well.

                • vvv says:

                  Not to perpetuate the OT but,

                  “”Were the files opened and inspected by persons who would have been obligated to report this had they discovered what the content was?”

                  Yes – lawyers are what are known as *mandated reporters*, like teachers, doctors, social workers, cops …

                  And Jones had no privilege where it’s opposing attorneys doing the discovering.

                  • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

                    It does make reports elsewhere about Jones sending (?) “ intimate” texts to Roger Stone potentially even more creepy, weird, and sinister.

              • timbo says:

                Yeah, that’s my understanding as well.

                And if it’s true that there was child porn on Alex’s phone then he’s in for a legal wringing of some sort. So, it’s possible that someone found the child porn and was like “Okaaay…guess I’m done looking at this and just handing it all over!”

          • Andrew says:

            Civil case – so no appeal on incompetence of counsel.

            Apparently that only works in criminal cases.

            [Welcome to emptywheel. Please use a more differentiated username when you comment next as we have several community members named “Andrew” or “Andy.” Thanks. /~Rayne]

        • obsessed says:

          If they have his phone going back 2 years, wouldn’t that be of extreme interest to Jan 6 investigators?

          Even more unbelievable is the child porn thing. After all the madness of accusing Hillary & Biden of whatever child related cannibalism under the pizza parlor or whatever it was … after all that they have child porn? And send it Sandy Hook lawyers? None of this would make it out of the writers’ room of even the most shameless shark-jumping daytime soap opera.

          • bmaz says:

            Whi in hell would DOJ share anything with those preening J6 pricks, who have screwed over DOJ all along? Also, are you aware of Rule 6 secrecy constraints that would prohibit it?

          • timbo says:

            Mark my words, he’ll claim he was investigating child pornography rings that the “Dumbosocialists frequent” “so as to expose their pedastery”. Ugh.

            • ollie says:

              I don’t recall where but: the fbi already investigated that porn issue. It was an attack. It was proven and no charges filed. feds walked away. that was the evidence and so. there you go. it was on twitter…I’m sure someone here knows more.

        • Longhornmarc says:

          Here’s the thing. If it really was a screw up, Texas civil procedure has a snap-back provision that allows a lawyer to “snap back” inadvertently produced materials. Within ten days of learning of the inadvertent production, the producing lawyer can “snap back” the inadvertently produced material and provide an amended/supplemental privilege log. That’s what Bankston was getting at when he said, “And when informed, did not take any steps to identify it as privileged, or protected in any way?”

          Jones’s lawyers could have snapped it back, and made the considered decision that they had no good faith basis to do so.

            • Longhornmarc says:

              Exactly. Should have been produced initially in discovery (presumably–I don’t know the precise wording of the relevant discovery requests) so no basis to snap it back. “Inadvertently” complying with your disclosure obligations is no basis for snap back, and could be the basis for sanctions against the lawyers for not producing it long ago.

              • bmaz says:

                That judge, Gamble, would have had none of that. But you still have to file it, irrespective of that.

                • vvv says:

                  I agree with *Andrew*, above – Jones’ only remedy would be suing his atty’s for malpractice.

              • vvv says:

                The stuff Jones was impeached on (re Sandy Hook) may have been wrongfully withheld, but the other stuff like the porn was possibly not required to be produced as it is unlikely its production would be responsive to any reasonable discovery request. IOW, one typically wouldn’t produce the *entire* contents of a phone …

                But clawback (the term I see used most frequently on these issues – I’ve encountered a couple) really only applies to privileged materials, so once it was produced … well, the atty’s should try to CYA if only to show they attempted reasonable mitigation re their mal coverage, but that’s not a likely winning motion.

      • Arice says:

        Lawyers “mess up” and send things to the wrong party with some frequency. Usually, they follow up with a message explaining the mixup and asking the other party to delete. And usually the other side does. But here’s the thing in this instance: The materials the plaintiff lawyer highlighted are NOT privileged by any means. There was no way to reel that back. They were things that should have been shared in discovery long ago.

        I don’t actually believe it was an accident. I’m not sure why his lawyers did that to their client, but it was a good way to burn Jones’ whole bullshit show down.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          You can’t reel back documents that should have been disclosed during discovery. It might be possible to assert A-C privilege over client communications, which would not have been discoverable. Even if possible, the cat’s out of the bag: plaintiff’s counsel can’t unsee that disclosure.

          As for this being an allegedly intentional release, a few facts would be helpful, if you have them, given that you just said that inadvertent releases happen all the time.

          • Arice says:

            I assume you’re restating my point about not being able to reel back something that should have been disclosed anyway for emphasis. That’s the point. Nothing the plaintiff lawyer used in court today fits any normal definition of “privileged.” By doing this, though, he calls into full focus Alex Jones’ bad faith and bad actions by not participating in discovery. He totally demolishes any sympathy that may have existed for the defendant among the jurors.

            BTW, I didn’t say accidental releases happen “all the time. But I work in litigation and I can think of at least TWO high profile cases of it that I was privy to. Those were actual privileged communications between lawyers and their clients that accidentally got sent to opposing counsel. And opposing counsel respectfully agreed to disregard them and maintain the privilege.

            • earlofhuntingdon says:

              I was not quoting you, except to throw shade at your “reel back.”

              A typical litigator’s stance over your “with some frequency” vs. “all the time.” In the context of these comments, the difference is irrelevant.

              How does anyone commenting here know that what plaintiff’s counsel used in court today could not be privileged? In Texas, it apparently doesn’t matter, because if the party that negligently disclosed communications to an opposing party does not object to its use within ten days, they waive the right to do so. Since we’re twelve days into this, everything on that phone is fair game. Couldn’t happen to a nicer shock jock.

              • Arice says:

                Well, actually Earl, we do know. The plaintiff lawyer didn’t throw out texts between Jones and his defense counsel, for example. Or with experts hired by his defense counsel consulting on the case. Those would have been privileged.

                Instead, the texts selected were chosen to show that Jones continued to exercise editorial control at Infowars despite saying he wasn’t, as well as to demonstrate the Jones’ statements of Infowars financial state were false. Everything used today should have been discoverable had Jones played by the normal rules of litigation.

              • Arice says:

                Also, not insignificantly, privilege is something that must be asserted. It doesn’t just stand alone. The defense’s failure to act within the 10 days provided by Texas statute means they’ve waived privilege.

      • P J Evans says:

        I gather that in Texas, the law gives them 10 days to say “oops – takesy-backsies”. So *12* days is two days past that limit, and the lawyers *didn’t notice* they’d done it.

        • ollie says:

          yeah. I liked that part. They gave him 2 days of lying on the stand, under oath, only then to tell him that they can prove he’s been lying. what a major burn. made me giddy w/’thoughts and prayers’, lmao

          • LeeNLP says:

            “made me giddy w/’thoughts and prayers’

            “Dear Lord- Please forgive me for smiling as I watch this dude go straight to Hell. I know it’s uncharitable of me. But please- now is not a good time to make me more charitable. I want to enjoy it a bit longer.

            On second thought– scratch that prayer. I’ll get back to you on it.”

    • BobCon says:

      Part of the “how bad” question depends on how much was on the phone.

      Some very bad people use multiple
      devices or have other methods to avoid putting all of their rotten eggs in one basket.

      I think it’s way too soon to know if this 10% of the universe of Jones data, 50%, or 99%. But it’s clearly enough to get some damaging info disclosed at trial after just a brief time in the hands of the Sandy Hook parents legal team.

      So it’s definitely got some significant data, and even if it doesn’t have other data directly, it may provide clues where that data may exist.

      If I was someone who had communicated with Jones in the past few years, I’d hire a lawyer.

      • bmaz says:

        Oh, it is bad, but Jones and his defense were already extremely dire straits before the parents whipped these texts out. This just icing on the cake to have a parting shot to the jury yo make sure Jones looks like a giant perjurer so they don’t believe anything else he has testified to. They almost certainly already thought that, but this locks it in.

        • BobCon says:

          Oh sure, from the perspective of this case you know even better than me how dire his straits were.

          From an even broader perspective of all the garbage Jones is in, it’s also bad, bad stuff. How bad, though, who knows yet. I bet it will take a while to find out.

          • Hika says:

            @ Terrry S Oh, aren’t we all? Aren’t we all just smiling, chuckling and feeling warm feelings about this golden nugget of news?

          • Hika says:

            Oh, aren’t we all? Aren’t we all just smiling, chuckling and feeling warm feelings about this golden nugget of news?

        • Rwood says:

          Two questions immediately come to mind.

          Who is the DA?
          What are the chances of Jones being arrested the second this trial is over?

        • Dopey-o says:

          IIUC, the materials on Jones’ phone should have been turned over in discovery? And Jones declared that he couldn’t find them / they didn’t exist.
          Is there no penalty for lying in discovery, and witholding evidence?

            • TooLoose LeTruck says:

              And is perjury not a criminal issue, as opposed to civil?

              In other words, did Jones and his apparently, shockingly inept team just accidentally, inadvertently open a whole new can of WhupAss on him?

              And this is one of the most enjoyable threads I’ve read here in a long time…

              Hah! I have PBS on the teevee machine right now, and they just had Jones on, making excuses for himself and looking very much like a man who’s wishing he could just disappear in a puff of smoke.

              • Ravenclaw says:

                (Warning: non-lawyer posting) My understanding has been that perjury is rarely prosecuted. The article linked below (from the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology) is rather old but I think still informative. The authors suggest (page 368) that perjury is especially unlikely to be prosecuted when it occurs in civil actions, perhaps due to a belief that “economies of both prosecutorial and judicial administration outweigh the benefits of a possible perjury prosecution.” In other words, too much trouble for too little result. But Jones’ case is unusually clear-cut and associated with harm to multiple people, so maybe it will be one of those rare cases.

                • bmaz says:

                  Did not read the article, but yes. The thing here is it is all on a sworn record. Not sure would expect a prosecution, but the fact pattern is pretty darn glaring.

                  • Rwood says:

                    If I have the right DA it’s Jose Garza. Austin/Travis County. He has this in his bio:

                    “Hold powerful actors accountable, regardless of their job title or the size of their bank account”

                    For once I’m hoping this is a DA that craves the spotlight.

                  • vvv says:

                    In my state (IL), rather than criminal referral, the civil judge could herself enter sanctions for the discovery violations, including the perjury.

                  • vvv says:

                    In my state (IL), rather than criminal referral, the civil judge could herself enter sanctions for the discovery violations, including the perjury. She could also make a bar referral.

                    To Ravenclaw’s point, when I’ve tried to obtain same in civil cases, the pushback has always been, “Shut up, you won.”

                    Had I lost but been able to prove such violations or perjury, then it would be a basis to move for a new trial (plaintiff) or judgment not withstanding the verdict (defendant).

  2. Rugger9 says:

    I’m perplexed. How does some as wealthy as AJ is, as connected as AJ is and with all of the conservative lawyers able to provide an effective case, end up like this? Are these lawyers too overwhelmed with other cases to perform due diligence on the stuff they’re sending the other side (as well as letting a default judgement happen) on what is likely the highest profile case they will have in their professional lives? The entire MAGA team can’t be that incompetent even if expensive. Or, can they (looking at you KK in KS)?

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      A lot of self-professed MAGA lawyers probably are that bad. Successful practices tend to avoid the notoriety, not to mention how troublesome clients like Trump and Jones are. They don’t give you the whole story. They never listen, never follow directions, and never shut up. They can’t be trusted not to commit perjury and not to commit further civil or criminal wrongs, and rarely pay the full tab, much less on time.

      • Marika says:

        This is Jones’ attorney, he is not your run of the mill cheap sole practitioner.
        Appointed by Eric Holder to serve as a federal prosecutor for the Southern District of Texas, Andino Reynal was a member of the Organized Crime Strike Force. While at the United States Attorney’s Office, Andino successfully tried white-collar cases, public corruption cases, and major drug trafficking cases.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          He or his office still badly fucked up. The good news for plaintiffs is that Andino’s likely to have better insurance than a run-of-the-mill MAGA lawyer.

          • Hika says:

            Andino’s insurance wouldn’t be relevant to the plaintiffs, would it? Jones might look to sue his lawyer … Ah. If Jones gets a big lump of money from his lawyer’s insurer, that can contribute to paying an even bigger sum to the plaintiffs. (I got there. It just took me a little thinking time.)

    • Peterr says:

      When you have been operating for years like that The Rules are for other people, you kind of forget that this is in fact false.

      When you have been able to bully folks into backing down, call in a favor from someone with power to shut something down, and pay off problematic people to make them shut up and go away, you kind of forget that eventually all the bullying, all the string-pulling, and all the payoffs in the world won’t ultimately protect you if faced by the right opponent in the right venue.

      Shorter: Jones got high on his own supply.

  3. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Karma’s a bitch.

    Perjury is an obvious issue. Using a computer and the Internet to send child porn to anyone is probably more than one federal crime. If Jones kept a lot of financial data on his phone, there might be records of where he tried to hide tens of millions from plaintiffs and the bankruptcy court. That might expose him to state and federal fraud charges. Poor Alex is gonna need a bigger legal boat.

    • Peterr says:

      Oh, there has to be a helluva lot more, from January 6 stuff to much more personal things.

      For instance, Marcy retweeted a message from Jones’ ex-wife, who is very anxious to send out a subpoena for those text messages in an effort to get custody of her kids again.

      He’s gonna need a Titanic of a legal boat.

      Oh, wait, that might not be the best image. No, on further review, I think Titanic fits pretty well.

    • L. Eslinger says:

      Jones didn’t set up his money moving & hiding machinery, or arrange for his mysterious Bitcoin infusion, by himself. He was likely working with bankers and lawyers and other people who understand this stuff and have the tools and connections to make it work. Email and text communications may have facilitated these machinations.

      During cross-examination, Sandy Hook lawyer Mark Bankston challenged Jones by asking “You’d agree these are emails you sent to your lawyers, your staff, and others, concerning your business operations, Sandy Hook, [and] other topics… ?”

      “Business operations” may relate to your post.

      The Bankston quote was extracted from

    • Silly but True says:

      The child porn is not new and appears to be unrelated to Jones. When it happened, the Sandyhook lawyer sent it on to FBI and that investigation of Jones’ organization appears to have concluded without charges.

      From news report at time, it was essentially a malware attack of Jones’ email system and then those emails got turned over in discovery.

      • ollie says:

        yes. this is where I got my information I wrote above. I’ll try and go and delete it. I really appreciate you presenting the facts on the porn stuff. I want to stay focused on the true/real/factual grinding up of that nasty print of a human.

  4. Peterr says:

    Alex Jones is having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day — partly because he knows that tomorrow will be worse.

    It couldn’t happen to a nicer fellow, unless that other fellow was Roger Stone.

    Hmmmm . . . I wonder if there are any interesting text messages on that phone between Jones and Stone.

    • Rugger9 says:

      How connected was AJ with J6? If he was a key player, his texts / messages / records ought to fill in some blanks, i.e. with fellow traveler Kash Patel.

      • Peterr says:


        Last September, Marcy put together a post entitled Alex Jones Used the Promise of a Permit and a Stage to Lure Hundreds to the East Steps. From the post:

        The idea, per Jones, was that they would all go to the other side of the building where they had a stage and a permit so as to avoid any confrontation with the police. . . .


        Only, Jones didn’t go to the permitted stage. Instead, he walked right up the East steps, stack-style, with boom mikes and people chanting QAnon slogans around him. Some of the Oath Keepers were already waiting, Jones’ former employee Biggs was either there or on his way, and shortly after Biggs arrived, someone would come from inside and open those doors, only to have a Stack ready to help push through and keep those doors open.

        Emphasis in the original. Video too.

        • BobCon says:

          I assume people are scouring 1/6 video right now to see if Jones was using a phone while the crazines was ocurring, or if he had a middleman relaying communications.

          Trump was canny enough to have third parties at critical moments be the recipients so nothing came to his phone. I’d be curious if Jones worked that way.

          I also assume they’re trying to find out if Jones had a different model burner phone then too.

          I really hope his op sec was terrible, but I can only cross my fingers until I know more. I’m sure there’s good stuff regardless, but how good I don’t know.

          • Rollo T says:

            In Jones testimony today, he alluded to having multiple phones. If so, the contents of this particular phone may not contain all his communications.

              • Peterr says:

                I didn’t hear that, but it sounds to me as if he had phone 1, then a year later bought phone 2 to have the latest model and switched the number to it, then replaced phone 2 with phone 3 a year after that and switched the number again . . .

                • Rugger9 says:

                  Then someone has the intercepts regardless of which phone AJ was using that day. Let’s hope the DoJ J6 team is one of those with the goods.

                  I would suspect that since AJ was clearly part of the process to storm the Capitol, his tactical coordination with other elements (Stone, Meadows, etc.) will be available.

                • Kurt K says:

                  You are correct. “Switching” the number is as easy as pulling out the SIM card of a phone and putting it into a new phone (provided the phones both use the same radio network (GSM vs CDMA)).

            • BobCon says:

              That’s my guess, and on the day of the riot while he was freaking out the crowds he probably had someone else taking his calls while he was foaming at the mouth.

              But I would bet DOJ is trembling at the opportunity to see what’s there. Imagine the chances to revisit people and ask about their previous denials when DOJ has a whole new set of texts and emails in their back pockets.

  5. JMNY says:

    Surely there must be some J6 investigators at DOJ right now shaking up some martinis and settling in for a nice summer beach read!

    • wetzel says:

      I understand how the Jones’ legal team forfeited the materials to the plaintiff’s legal team after ten days. However, it astonishes me that the materials become ‘their papers’, no longer attached to Jones as ‘his papers’, in terms of the 4th amendment, for all other investigations, except as a source of potential criminal and civil liability. I don’t think the framers imagined a cell phone.

      • Rayne says:

        The framers didn’t imagine a cell phone, but it’s little different than a locked box of documents left in a common space shared by agreement between the attorneys. The plaintiffs’ attorneys said, “You left a box here of sensitive documents, unlocked,” and the defendant’s attorneys didn’t do anything about removing the unlocked box from the shared space inside 10 days while their client lied about the existence of documents in the box. Oops.

        • wetzel says:

          Thanks. That helps. Kind of like I hit a ball on the golf course and I ask my lawyer to yell ‘fore!’ but he goes and yells ‘fire!’ in a crowded theater full of corn dealers. I guess I have to live with the consequences.

      • bmaz says:

        What does this have to do with the Fourth Amendment? This was not a search and seizure by the government.

        • wetzel says:

          Apology for my sloppy language. I wasn’t referring to the original transfer to the plaintiff’s legal team. Due to the mistake of Jones’ legal team, the contents of his cell phone have fallen ‘free and clear’ into the possession of Mark Bankston. I was referring to Jones’ apparent incapacity to resist further subpoenas of the materials from the government or civil plaintiffs. I do not know if I am interpreting the comments here correctly, but other investigations now will only need to subpoena Mark Bankston to get the materials, so Jones has no advocate to resist these subpoenas. What I meant to say is Jones has lost his 4th amendment right to the security of his ‘papers’ through the mistake of his lawyer, forevermore. They aren’t even ‘his papers’ anymore from a legal standpoint, as Rayne aptly illustrated above, and there is no recourse. It just feels against the grain of the spirit of the 4th amendment, though not the letter. I guess the moral of the story is hire good lawyers.

          • bmaz says:

            It happens all the time. But Jones never filed anything on it until it being exposed in open court. Frankly, without a protective order, am not even sure it would take a subpoena for them to be forked over to his ex-wife.

  6. Rayne says:

    Ahahahahahah!!! I am still laughing about this, just ask bmaz.

    Can you say “spousal and child support”?

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Poor Alex might now actually go into a legit bankruptcy, but only after having to give up the pots of gold he has buried. But that shouldn’t mean a liquidation, rather, structured repayments, because he probably still (sadly) has a money-paying audience.

      That assumes, though, that no state or federal prosecutor obtains a conviction on one or more felonies and puts him in the slammer. That might dry up his revenue for some time.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Plus family support obligations, like back taxes and student loans, are not dischargeable in bankruptcy.

        • bmaz says:

          And intentional torts! This one I know bit about having even argued it to the 9th Circuit (and won). Plaintiffs will surely be looking for an instruction where the jury can find Jones’ acts intentional and malicious.

            • earlofhuntingdon says:

              Normally requires evidence of fraudulent transfers made within a certain time before a bankruptcy case is filed. That involves evidence that Jones knew he wasn’t bankrupt or that he was intentionally hiding money from legitimate actual or probable creditors.

              Given Jones’s Trump like ego, and his un-Trump-like propensity to save digital documents and communications, finding evidence of that may now not be hard to do.

      • Bears74 says:

        Structured payments. That’d be one helluva catch-22. Plaintiffs receive money earned by Jones’ bile being spread to the loonies who buy his dangerous and vile schtick & “vitamins”, leading to the next batch of plaintiffs who happened, by no fault of their own, to end up in the crosshairs of Alex.

        To be abundantly clear, I’m in no way advocating for the financial penalties to be anything less than devastating.

    • Jared Shoemaker Jr says:

      I may be the only one that thinks this but…..I couldn’t care less what this woman thinks she’s entitled to. From what I understand they were married until at least 2015 so she was around and kept quiet about him for years. Far as I’m concerned, she’s in the same boat as jones and deserves everything he gets

      • Rayne says:

        ^ Tell me you don’t understand the dynamics of an abusive relationship without telling me you don’t understand the dynamics of an abusive relationship.

        • Jared Shoemaker Jr says:

          I can only speak to abuse as an abused child, not as a romantic partner and I spoke up at 11 so. I should think someone claiming they were abused would have said or tried something at least once. I’ve found no information in dictating that she ever tried to leave beforehand and only filed for divorce due to him stepping out on her. To me this looks like craven opportunism on her part to cash in before his money goes away. There is no statement or anything from 2012-2015 where she says a word about his disgusting behavior

        • Jared Shoemaker Jr says:

          I haven’t found a single instance of her ever speaking out about his lies he’s told on his show. So her claim to be a whistleblower may only apply to him hiding his money during their divorce and custody dispute but she’s never condemned his sandy hook lies. This to me smacks of opportunism on her part. Call me cynical, but she didn’t divorce him for his lies he told on the air, it was because he stepped out on her.

          • bmaz says:

            Please spare us your speculation. And I don’t care about what you did, or did not, “find”. What you can “find” on your own little self does not mean squat.

          • Rayne says:

            Sure. She had no problems what so ever with Jones’ show. Give me a fucking break.

            Personal life
            Jones has three children with his former wife Kelly Jones. The couple divorced in March 2015.[279] In 2017, Kelly sought sole or joint custody of their children due to her ex-husband’s behavior. She claimed “he’s not a stable person” and “I’m concerned that he is engaged in felonious behavior, threatening a member of Congress” (Adam Schiff). His attorney responded by claiming that “he’s playing a character” and describing him as a “performance artist”.[280][281] On his show, Jones denied playing a character and he called his show “the most bona fide, hard-core, real McCoy thing there is, and everybody knows it”;[282][283] whereas in court, Jones clarified that he generally agreed with his attorney’s statement, but that he disagreed with the media’s interpretation of the term “performance artist”.[284] Kelly was awarded the right to decide where their children live while he maintains visitation rights.[285] In April 2020, a state district judge denied an emergency motion by Kelly to secure custody of their daughters for the next two weeks after Jones led a rally at the Capitol, where he was mobbed by supporters and called COVID-19 a hoax.[286]


            279. Hartman, Ben (April 27, 2017). “InfoWars’ Alex Jones Loses Custody Case, Ex-Wife Wins Right to Decide Where Children Live”. The Daily Beast. IAC Publishing. Archived from the original on September 9, 2018. Retrieved July 18, 2018.

            280. Siemaszko, Corky (April 17, 2017). “InfoWars’ Alex Jones Is a ‘Performance Artist,’ His Lawyer Says in Divorce Hearing”. NBC News. Archived from the original on April 17, 2017. Retrieved April 17, 2017.

            281. “Conservative radio host Alex Jones fighting to keep custody of children”. CBS News. Archived from the original on June 19, 2017. Retrieved April 18, 2017.

            282. Borchers, Callum (April 20, 2017). “Analysis – Alex Jones is a narcissist, a witness testifies. And he’s undermining his own attorneys”. The Washington Post. Archived from the original on April 25, 2017. Retrieved April 25, 2017.

            283. May, Charlie (April 19, 2017). “Alex Jones denies lawyers’ claims he’s doing “performance art”: “We’re the most bona fide, hardcore, real McCoy thing there is””. Salon. Archived from the original on April 6, 2019. Retrieved April 6, 2019.

            284. Warzel, Charlie (April 20, 2017). “Here’s A Rundown Of Alex Jones’ Surreal Testimony In Court Today”. BuzzFeed News. Archived from the original on April 6, 2019. Retrieved April 6, 2019.

            285. Stanglin, Doug (April 28, 2017). “Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones loses primary custody of his kids”. USA Today. Archived from the original on August 10, 2018. Retrieved August 10, 2018.

            286. Tilove, Jonathan. “Alex Jones’ ex-wife rebuffed in bid to gain daughters’ custody after he courted COVID-19 at rally”. Austin American-Statesman. Retrieved February 4, 2021.

            Besides not actually reading much about Kelly Jones’ situation, I don’t suppose it occurred to you that her attorneys 1) asked her not to talk about the Sandy Hook situation because they didn’t want her embroiled in the goddamn mess he’s in now; 2) asked her not to talk much about his show because the divorce court needed to focus on parenting and parental rights and not get bogged down in AJ’s bullshit, BECAUSE THE DIVORCE COURT JUDGE MADE INFOWARS OFF LIMITS.

        • Jared Shoemaker Jr says:

          If they are 18 and over, and support and defend their fathers lies and actions, yes they do. They are adults and should bear the consequences of their choices. If they are under 18 then no.

          • Ginevra diBenci says:

            Alex Jones was a cult leader until he quasi-subordinated his movement to MAGA and became a Trump-cult lieutenant. Children growing up with a figure like that often need extensive deprogramming, years of therapy and exposure to a reality outside of that controlled by the despotic parent. Try to imagine their lives. Put yourself in your shoes. Not everyone shares your freedom to pass judgment, and those who do are well-advised to reserve it. Not always, but often.

  7. gulageten says:

    At the end of the testimony, before the juror questions, the defense lawyer asked a single (?) question, I think having Jones (re?) confirm that he handed over the phone to the lawyers with the understanding that it was discoverable. I am not sure what the exact intent of that Q&A would be, but it seemed … not-insignificant. CYA by the lawyer?

  8. Badger Robert says:

    The client was probably lying to the attorneys. And the attorneys probably became aware that there was criminal evidence in the phone records, as well as evidence that Jones was testifying falsely.
    Was the disclosure a purposeful accident, so that the attorneys did not permit their client to get away with fraudulent testimony? Good ethics exam question.

      • Alan Charbonneau says:

        This Tuesday on Netflix, “The Accident” a powerful tale of deception and redemption in the high-stakes world of defamation lawsuits. The Accident, starring David Hasselhoff as “Sensitive” Jake Citroën, Whoopi Goldberg as his wife, and a special guest appearance by Ronny Jackson playing himself, is sure to be as exciting as only Ronny can make it.

  9. Rapier says:

    I’m not sure how “a phones contents” get into a “Dropbox folder”?

    Why would his lawyers even want the texts? Why would they copy and paste them in any case?

    Why would Jones have even given them the phone?

    Did they read them and then let him perjure himself?

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      This is a civil suit, not a criminal action. Jones had and has discovery obligations. The data on his phone is exactly the sort of data that might be subject to disclosure. Lawyers would need to review it and discuss with Jones what information might have to be disclosed.

      That’s one reason the data might be placed in a secure file both would have access to. But it doesn’t explain how the data was copied and sent in an unredacted form to plaintiff’s counsel. Nor does it explain why defense counsel didn’t try to close the barn door after the horses had bolted by trying to claim A-C privilege over parts of it. As for their not notifying Jones about this for over twelve days, that looks bad for defense counsel and their licenses to practice.

  10. rattlemullet says:

    Karma is a bitch but a bad legal team is worse. Dropbox file sharing is very much used in the construction industry from which I am now retired. Having incorrect files dropped in the box is a common occurrence with the construction industry. Often it leads to confusion with plan production but even have experienced it during litigation, damning evidence being mistakenly shared, that data entry is done by assistants that often make mistakes. Is that the case here you think?

    • Tetman Callis says:

      Seems a likely explanation, though I don’t want to speculate. I’ve been a legal support staffer for over thirty years and I’ve seen this kind of thing happen (though not on such an epic scale as what’s going on with the Jones matter). Staff gets overworked, there’s a lot going on, tight deadlines, multitasking, inadequate supervision, and bingo — someone screws up.

      • bmaz says:

        You have one shred of evidence for that, or just blowing shit out of your ass? I have had it with your thread consuming bullshit. STOP.

    • notjonathon says:

      Not confined to US. My late brother-in-law in Japan once submitted a bid for bridge construction and accidentally handed in the bid for the “competing” company. All was well, however, as the government entity pointed out his mistake and permitted him to take the “winning” bid from his other pocket.

      My college used one supplier almost exclusively, but the Ministry of Education requires competing bids to be submitted. So the supplier formed a dummy corporation that always turned in a bid 10-15% higher than their own.

  11. skua says:

    Anyone seen video of Jones’ lawyers’ faces when the Big Reveal was made?
    Goes to “Were they expecting this?”

    • eyesoars says:

      I was pretty surprised at the extended silence as the phone image was accepted into evidence with no comment from AJ’s attorneys. No objections? Not my field, and maybe I’ve watched TV too much, but I expected them to say _something_.

  12. Tom says:

    Who could have predicted such a development? God must have a sense of humour. There was a pony under that pile of manure after all!

  13. skua says:

    Read of Walorski’s death and and that she “has been remembered as an honourable public servant who strove to work across party lines to deliver for her constituents.”

    Then looked up her votes on Trump’s impeachments.
    “witch hunt of an impeachment process”, then for the next,
    “Walorski also pointed out that Trump has promised an orderly transition of power to President-elect Joe Biden.” … “I call on all Americans to support this effort by remaining peaceful and rejecting all violence,” she said in the statement. “Anyone who commits violent or destructive acts will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.” -South Bend Tribune
    And then Jan 6 2021, “Walorski voted against certifying President Biden’s victories in both Arizona and Pennsylvania … ” – WaPo

    A whole flood of tragedy. Just need to add Sophocles name to it.

    • Rayne says:

      Happy 900th comment here at emptywheel. Kind of a grim one, isn’t it, in so many ways.

      Glad to have you here, though. Best wishes on the next 900.

      • skua says:

        Thanks Rayne.

        Sometimes grim keeps me functioning, – other times I reach for grim instead of being more useful and letting go into tears.

        • Rayne says:

          If things weren’t grim I wouldn’t be here. It’s my raison d’etre, to fight the grim each day. LOL

    • P J Evans says:

      Not a good way to go. Condolence to the families and friends of all the dead: the driver of the other car, who hit them, Walorski, and her two staffers.

    • DAT says:

      Walorski was my representative. I worked in every election of hers, in opposition, including her first one, which she lost. She was allergic to town meetings or any kind of constituent meetings. She’d have to do one every second or third term, and she always scheduled them in the furthest reaches, and least populous, portions of the district.

      I was part of delegations that met with her in-district staff several times about health care, and other issues. She, we were told, never ever met with voters. Her staff were respectful, and even gave off an intimation that they had some sympathy for our positions. That, of course, never showed up as an effect on her vote. She was straight party line. As far as I could tell, she was only interested in following orders. An ex-meteorologist. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that!)

      She was on her way back from a ribbon cutting, the kind of controlled, synthetic, setting she preferred. She was with her district manager and her communications manager, both in there twenties, both dead now, also.

      • Rayne says:

        Thanks for sharing this, DAT. I have to wonder if Walorski was on the ASD spectrum given her previous job as a meteorologist (STEM) and her difficulty with social occasions. But neither here nor there now, just very sad for the families affected.

        Do you have any feel for who will fill this short vacancy and/or run as a GOP (probably write-in)?

  14. Rapier says:

    As any Jones follower will tell you, if not tonight then by Friday, the whole thing is obviously a conspiracy against him, by his own lawyers.

  15. Badger Robert says:

    When he lost, Jones was going to blame his lawyers anyway, and perhaps sue. So the attorneys may have decided this was the least dangerous way to expose his lying. Not much evidence to pinpoint the alleged error, and so far we don’t know who in a senior position may have decided they had already carried Jones too far.

    • jasper says:

      What’s most shameful is how he spoke to the families after court today.

      And all the other stuff is also shameful, of course. I don’t understand why they allow that kind of thing, even though it’s a civil case.

  16. Paulka says:

    Can someone clarify a point if Jones’s attorneys screwed up He would be the injured party and would sue his attorneys for malpractice correct?

    If so he would get a payout from the lawyers insurance correct?

    • earlofhuntingdon says:


      If his lawyers committed malpractice, Jones could recover from their insurers for damages he suffered – owing to the malpractice – up to the limits of the policy. Amounts beyond that, if any, he would have to recover from the partnership or partners themselves.

      It seems likely that any recovery would go to Jones’s creditors, including the Sandy Hook families, unless he’s already fully paid amounts due them, which seems unlikely.

  17. TooLoose LeTruck says:

    What’s that line from Hamlet… ‘Hoist with one’s own petard’?

    Seems like an appropriate place to use it…

    I keep hearing the old Benny Hill theme song starting up… ‘Yakkity Sax’

  18. ollie says:

    so, Dr. Marcy Wheeler, @emptywheel, I really, really like following you on twitter. I ALWAYS learn so much… times you seem to be everywhere and the anxiety goes down, confidence goes up………..and I’m a little embarrassed to say that Don Winslow blocked me after I replied to one of his Frantic and Emotional tweets w/a referral to this website as he was making a wreck, lol. I’m too damn old to get this worked up …
    thank you so much.

    • wetzel says:

      Don’t let your happiness depend on Twitter. It’s a Skinner box. Likes and engagement are reinforcers. Social isolation as a punisher. The best approach is learned helplessness.

  19. KennyG says:

    Hi I have been following the posts for a little while now and must say I am extremely impressed with the content, stumbled across the site while bludging on night shift!
    will see if I can donate a few aussie dollars now and again.
    Cheers from the land down under

  20. WilliamOckham says:

    There’s one thing that I noticed that no one has mentioned, afaik. Look at the judge when the plaintiff’s lawyer makes the big reveal. That’s the face of someone who knew what was about to happen. Which, I assume, means that the judge had already met with both sets of lawyers about this. (I’m not a lawyer and don’t really know anything about civil procedure in Texas, but I think I can find out).

    • David B Pittard says:

      Good obserevation. Should the inadvertent disclosure contain privileged information, Jones’ lawyers could have, within the 10 day period, sought to claw it back. I haven’t seen any indication that it did. With respect to unprivileged information previously sought through proper requests for disclosure, requests for production, interrogatories and deposition questions, it would have had to have been disclosed by Jones. His lawyers would, as to this information, have no grounds to object. Were they aware of information on the phone that contradicted his testimony, they might even be sanctioned for withholding it from discovery. Bankston said they screwed up but I’m not sure they did – providing the information in digital for could be their way of responding to discovery with some hope that the volume of information on the phone was too time-consuming to examine and that some logical search terms like “Sandy Hook” provided no hits (which Jones said was his basis for saying no emails concerning that massacre existed) might cause the plaintiffs’ lawyers to overlook them. If that was a strategy, it failed, but that’s not to say they screwed up. As officers of the court, they could not allow Jones to hide evidence legitimately requested about which they were aware.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Your surmise is that defense lawyers played 52-card pick-up, hoping that with such a mass of uncategorized data, plaintiffs’ lawyers would be unlikely to find the bits damaging to Jones, if any? Helluva gamble with modern search s/w, even if you have a shitty client and no good arguments on the facts or the law.

        Regardless, any defense of Jones’s lawyers hinges on their having had Jones’s permission to send his phone data to plaintiffs’ lawyers. Absent that, they did, indeed, screw up and committed malpractice.

        If the client in a civil case does not grant permission to disclose information he’s obligated to disclose, the ethical option is not to disclose it anyway. That would be malpractice. Their recourse is to withdraw, so as not to become a party to the client’s unethical or illegal conduct.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        The appearance now is that Jones’s lawyers made a mistake in sending the contents of his phone to plaintiffs’ lawyers. Plaintiff’s counsel caught the mistake immediately and contacted the defense lawyer. He acknowledged the mistake, and asked that plaintiffs’ counsel “disregard the link” – which does not seem to ask them to disregard any data. He apparently did not take the further steps required under Texas rules to protect any privileged documents.

        Texas rules would apparently not force plaintiffs to return the contents, but could have protected privileged documents. There was a hearing on this. The judge ordered Jones’s medical records destroyed, but apparently nothing else was deemed privileged or privilege was not asserted or asserted in time.

        A big question, then, is whether his lawyers really had not told any of this to serial liar Jones. That looks doubtful. It suggests Jones is playacting – his “you’ve got your Perry Mason moment” dig sounds scripted – to distract from his lies/perjury and his refusal to comply with discovery rules.
        Good thread here:

    • WilliamOckham says:

      Well, I was wrong. After listening to this morning’s hearing, it seems pretty clear that the judge didn’t know what was coming yesterday. And the only conclusion I can draw from that is to never play poker with that judge.

      • bmaz says:

        I cannot believe the parents atty would spring that out of nowhere without the court knowing. For starters, you have, and I mean HAVE, to have it marked as an exhibit before showing it to someone on the stand.

  21. The Old Redneck says:

    I think the Jones lawyers may be feeling some heat too. If they had just disclosed the texts and other communications requested by the plaintiff, then they could plausibly say they were complying with discovery (albeit very late). But they gave up the entire phone, which presumably includes all manner of extraneous material. That makes it virtually inevitable that this was an error.
    At any rate, we know the discovery rules were violated. The next thing which happens is the judge starts asking why they didn’t comply with the discovery requests when they were made. Their choice at that point is to say (1) we violated the discovery rules, it’s on us; or (2) Jones didn’t give us the information so we could comply.
    Option 1 gets them heavy sanctions and possibly bar discipline. Option 2 can’t even be exercised right now, because it puts them squarely in a conflict with their client. They can move to withdraw, but that won’t prevent a judge from putting a microscope on them about what they did. They’re going to have to give some sort of explanation sooner or later if this gets pursued.
    I think a legal malpractice claim is the least of their worries. Alex Jones, now a known perjurer, will likely not get a dime if he pursues a legal malpractice claim against them. And it will open the door for them to break the privilege and defend themselves by saying it was Jones’s fault, not ours.
    Either way, it’s very messy indeed. But amusing as well.

    • harpie says:
      1:09 PM · Aug 4, 2022

      So now the J6 Committee gets a copy of Jones’s phone including correspondence he had with Roger Stone.

      But we don’t know the date that the phone was copied. If it’s before the 2020 election, then there’s probably not much value to the Committee.

      Both sides are claiming different dates.

      Jones has already been deposed by the J6 Committee and claims he pleaded the 5th more than 100 times.

      • Ginevra diBenci says:

        harpie, you made my heart flutter *and* my stomach turn with your report about those “intimate” Jones-Stone messages. Inquiring minds want to know–right now! But at the same time … Bleaag!gh!h!

        Thank you, harpie.

    • Ginevra diBenci says:

      Trying to track local hotshot attorney Norm Pattis, Alex Jones’s Connecticut “representative,” I just found a story in local (Danbury) paper NewsTimes that credits Pattis with sending the phone contents to the Austin attorneys.
      The piece describes those contents as including not just the “intimate” Stone texts, but also Jones’s own medical records, as well as psychiatric evaluations of Sandy Hook parents.

  22. Willis Warren says:

    I’m not convinced this is a mistake, frankly. I think he did it on purpose and is just pretending it’s an accident. There’s much more on the phone beyond Sandy Hook and the January 6th stuff seems to be a lot more important. Maybe I’m just being an optimist, but I’d like to believe even his lawyers want him in jail.

      • spirilis says:

        I’m just a salesman. Success comes from finding out what a client really wants and then giving it to them. I was taught that: lawyers, mostly harmless do not touch. What are your thoughts on “criminal” lawyers such as Saul? Do you think the threat of disbarment is sufficient?

  23. Arice says:

    The “emergency hearing” today where Jones’ lawyer, Reynal, tried to undo all his oopsies was quite illuminating. Short version is that he DID send it by accident and, when informed he had, simply asked the other side to “disregard the link.” He did not, however, ask them to delete or disregard any of the 300 gigs of files they’d already had copied over to their own servers. And Texas law requires that in this instance the defense attorney should have provided a detailed list of exactly what documents he is asserting are privileged and/or confidential, which he didn’t do.

    Ironically, this attorney is the one Jones tried to use to replace his counsel in another Connecticut case because he “trusts” Reynal.

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