Hours before the jury awarded over a $4 million compensatory damages against Alex Jones, his attorney Andino Reynal made a desperate attempt to get a mistrial based on his own fuckup.
As part of the exchange that ensued, plaintiff’s lawyer Mark Bankston laid out the dilemma facing Reynal upon discovering he had sent the crown jewels to the plaintiffs. What Bankston got sent included highly confidential records from the Connecticut plaintiffs, records he shouldn’t have had.
He says I will work on preparing you a new link. In other words, the idea here, your honor, because I don’t think this is true is that what he was wanting to provide to me was maybe I guess some last minute supplemental production, right, before this trial, days before this trial?
I don’t think that’s what was happening. And the reason I don’t think that’s what was happening is because Mr. Reynal never worked on preparing me a new link. He never ended up sending me, here is the correct material. Instead, he went to trial, and waited until after his client got off the stand and now says, Oh I meant to send him more materials. So what we’re basically hearing is that Mr. Reynal, at that point, if that story is true, knew that he was supposed to supplement his discovery, knew he was supposed to provide those materials to me, and when I alerted him that he failed to do that and provide me something else, he just ignored it, decided I’m not going to supplement discovery. So if that’s true, if that story is true, we have a willful violation of discovery by Mr. Reynal, to allow this case to go to trial with documents that he says he needed to provide to me. That in and of itself is sanctionable.
But that’s not the real story of what happened here. It’s just not. We know what happened here. Norm Pattis, up in Connecticut, was passing this file along to Mr. Reynal. And I know that because the directories contain SharePoint OneDrive backups of Norm Pattis’ computer. He’s providing it to Mr. Reynal and that, your honor, is also independently very troubling. Because Mr. Reynal talks about these medical records — that’s what he’s concerned about. These medical records. Well, one thing I can tell you right now, your honor, when I figured out that I had the confidential psychiatric records of all nine Lafferty plaintiffs and their confidential depositions? I immediately destroyed them. And I told Chris Mattie, plaintiff’s lawyer up there that I’ve done that. He is on notice that those materials are not in my possession. But I told him, look, I trust my staff. They’re good people. And I trust that those materials were never leaked. But nonetheless, that is a significant data breach against his clients. And what’s most concerning is that Mr. Reynal has not yet made an appearance in the Lafferty case. Mr. Reynal is not allowed to have those documents.
The other problem, your honor, is we have Mr. Reynal now asking you to seal up an entire universe of things which should have been produced at minimum six months ago. One of the things you also, I know you remember, is that for multiple prior discovery hearings, beginning as early as October of last year, we’ve been talking about text messages. Every single hearing. And then you remember we had that hearing in January where we had the disclosure that, wait a second, that Don Salazar or Nico Acosta, the producer up in Connecticut had produced some text messages up there that should have been responsive, should have been on Rob [LNU] phone, Alex Jones’ phone. Why don’t we have them. What’s going on? And you’ll remember in those series of hearings, right, when Mr. Reynal came here in March, and told you, no, those were only on Mr. Acosta’s phone. Mr. Jones — we’ve searched his phone, he doesn’t have text messages that are responsive.
So again, not only is this a fig leaf, to cover up the things he has broken with his client, this is a fig leaf to cover up that he had been misrepresenting to you for months, telling you that these things did not exist.
I’d like to summarize what was said in response, Axios style, to make it more accessible for further reporting.
- Reynal’s legal assistant sent a file transfer link to Bankston, another of the plaintiff’s attorneys, as well as Reynal and another Jones attorney. The link led to a variety of other files, including confidential psychiatric files on the Connecticut plaintiffs
- The entire file was around 300GB of material
- 2.3GB of it is phone material, including “intimate messages with Roger Stone”
- Reynal claims that based on his review, Jones’ phone “is not in there,” but instead a review copy of text messages of a six month period between August of 2019 and the first quarter of 2020
- This happened once before, but in that case, Jones’ lawyers successfully identified privileged material and clawed it back
- Judge Maya Guerra Gamble agreed that the material should have been turned over a year ago
- Bankston has been asked by January 6 Committee to provide the phone and the plaintiff’s counsel in Lafferty (the latter of which can be shared under an information sharing order)
- Gamble suggested Reynal has made 17 requests for a mistrial and that Bankston has spent so much time in trial he has had no time to search on the material
Update: Jurors have awarded $45.2 million in punitive damages against Jones, though it seems this will be capped under Texas law.