The FBI has informed Alex Jones someone planted child pornography on the servers for his Infowars website and on Friday the controversial radio host offered a $1 million reward for any information leading to an arrest.
Federal authorities have been conducting a child pornography investigation for several weeks after they reviewed emailed threats made against Jones that contained links to child pornography websites, according to his attorney Norm Pattis.
Pattis appeared on Jones’ show late Friday afternoon to discuss the incident. But before he did Jones went on a five-minute, profanity-laced rant announcing the reward for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of whoever infiltrated the his company’s servers.
“Someone is trying to set me up with child pornography and we’re going to find you,” Jones said.
Pattis said he was notified a few weeks ago by the company that is reviewing all of the emails Infowars receives that there were 12 suspicious ones that appeared to be threats against Jones but actually contained child pornography.
“These were emails that if you, me or one of your workers had opened we would have been subjected to five years in federal prison,” Pattis said.
Jones is being sued by several victims of the Sandy Hook school massacre. They are alleging he and his company have profited from spreading the story that the shooting was a hoax. He hired Pattis to represent him in Connecticut after Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis grew frustrated Jones and Infowars weren’t complying with simple discovery requests and threatened to sanction Jones.
The plaintiffs include the parents of four children killed at the Newtown school: Jacqueline and Mark Barden, parents of Daniel; Nicole and Ian Hockley, parents of Dylan; Francine and David Wheeler, parents of Ben; and Jennifer Hensel and Jeremy Richman, parents of Avielle Richman. Other plaintiffs are relatives of slain first-grade teacher Victoria Leigh Soto; Erica Lafferty-Garbatini, daughter of slain Principal Dawn Hochsprung; and William Aldenberg, a longtime FBI agent and a first responder.
The lawsuit accuses Jones of orchestrating a sustained attack that lasted for years, accusing family members of being actors, stating as fact that the shooting was a hoax and inciting others to act on those claims all because it was good for his ratings, drew advertisers and made him money.
Lawyers from the firm of Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder, who are representing Sandy Hook families, are seeking emails and tips Jones received following the shooting.
They have constantly complained Jones and his company haven’t shared all of their records. Specifically they are seeking data relating to Infowars’ marketing, sales and web activities.
Pattis said there are more than 9.3 million emails that need to be culled in the search for specific ones that name Sandy Hook victims or their families and the gunman, Adam Lanza, among others.
That case is one of several occurring simultaneously involving the Sandy Hook families and Jones and his company. The other lawsuits were filed in Texas, where Jones’ Infowars show is based. Neil Heslin, the father of slain student Jesse Lewis, and Scarlettt Lewis, Jesse’s mother, along with Leonard Pozner and Veronique De La Rosa, whose son, Noah Pozner, died in the massacre, filed separate lawsuits in Travis County, Texas.
In a deposition recorded March 14 for one of the Texas lawsuits against Jones, he blames part of his conspiracy theory background on his “psychosis."
“I, myself, have almost had like a form of psychosis back in the past where I basically thought everything was staged, even though I’m now learning a lot of times things aren’t staged,” Jones said. “So I think as a pundit, someone giving an opinion, that, you know, my opinions have been wrong; but they were never wrong consciously to hurt people.”
But Jones stops short of acknowledging that he no longer believes the shooting was a hoax.