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Jan. 6 committee wants Alex Jones' text messages, lawyer for parents of Sandy Hook victim says

Jury deliberates in Jones defamation case
Texas jury deliberates in Alex Jones defamation case 06:15

Washington — The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol is seeking text messages from Alex Jones, the far-right broadcaster and conspiracy theorist, a lawyer representing a pair of parents who are suing him over false statements about the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting confirmed in court Thursday.

Mark Bankston, the attorney representing the parents of Jesse Lewis, a student who was killed in the massacre, told Judge Maya Guerra Gamble, who is presiding over the trial in Austin, Texas, that he is "under request from various federal agencies and law enforcement" to provide the records.

"Absent a ruling from you saying, 'You cannot do that, Mr. Bankston,' I intend to do so immediately," he said.

Bankston clarified he has received requests from the House panel and intended to comply.

Bill Ogden, who is on the legal team representing Lewis' parents, confirmed to CBS News that they have been contacted by the select committee but have not received a subpoena. A member of the committee, Rep. Zoe Lofgren, told Sirius/XM in an interview set to air Friday that House investigators continue to pursue an interview with Jones and noted the new developments in his "communications."

Jones' "advocacy of violence ... quite clearly played a role on the 6th," she said. "We'd like to know more about it."

Bankston revealed in court Wednesday that Jones' attorney, Andino Reynal, mistakenly sent him two years' of his client's cell phone records several weeks ago. The disclosure prompted Reynal to file a request for a mistrial and ask the judge to order Bankston to return the documents and destroy what they kept.

Reynal said Jones' legal team is "very concerned about the records that have been disclosed," and specifically cited medical records that were included in the tranche of documents mistakenly sent.

But in arguing against Reynal's request, Bankston accused his counterpart of putting a "fig leaf over his own malpractice" and "absolute breach of his duties to his own client."

While Bankston said he has not yet received a subpoena for the records, Gamble predicted one could be forthcoming.

"They're going to now," she told Reynal. "They know about them, they know they exist, they know you have them. I think they're going there either way."

Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, the parents of 6-year-old Jesse Lewis, sued Jones and his corporation Free Speech Systems, the parent company of InfoWars, for defamation in 2018. The case is now in the final phase, with deliberations by the jury now underway over how much in damages Jones must pay to Heslin and Lewis. The pair are seeking at least $150 million in compensatory damages. 

Jones has repeatedly claimed, both on his show and website, that the Sandy Hook massacre, which left 20 children and six adults dead, was a "giant hoax" and "false flag" devised by the "deep state" for more stringent gun laws. He has also falsely claimed the families whose loved ones were killed in the shooting were government actors. 

Heslin and Lewis both detailed in testimony this week how Jones' conspiracy theories upended their lives and led to death threats and harassment against them. Jones on Tuesday conceded the shooting was "100% real."

Scott MacFarlane and Ellis Kim contributed to this report.

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