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Alex Jones misses deposition again. He's ordered to answer questions Thursday

In this Nov. 5, 2020 file photo, radio host Alex Jones rallies pro Trump supporters outside the Maricopa County Recorder's Office, in Phoenix. The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday, April 5, 2021 declined to hear an appeal by the Infowars host and conspiracy theorist, who was fighting a Connecticut court sanction in a defamation lawsuit brought by relatives of some of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
AP Photo/Matt York, File
In this Nov. 5, 2020, file photo, radio host Alex Jones rallies pro Trump supporters outside the Maricopa County Recorder's Office in Phoenix. Last April, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal by the InfoWars host and conspiracy theorist, who was fighting a Connecticut court sanction in a defamation lawsuit brought by relatives of some of the victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

Sandy Hook conspiracy theorist Alex Jones didn’t appear at a court-ordered deposition Wednesday morning and is now ordered to answer questions under oath Thursday.

Judge Barbara Bellis, who’s presiding over the case, said during an emergency hearing Wednesday afternoon that the InfoWars host must participate in a deposition Thursday — unless his defense team can prove his appearance would be “dangerous to his health.”

“The defendant Alex Jones is ordered to produce himself tomorrow for his duly noticed deposition, as he has not submitted additional evidence for the court to evaluate on the issue of his alleged medical conditions,” Bellis wrote in a Wednesday court filing.

Jones’ attorneys say a doctor told him not to go to the deposition.

“The physician subsequently arranged for a comprehensive medical workup to be conducted for Mr. Jones on March 23, 2022,” read a Wednesday filing signed by attorneys Norm Pattis and Cameron Atkinson. “The physician remains firm in his initial recommendation that Mr. Jones neither attend a deposition nor return to work until the results of the comprehensive medical workup are returned, and he opines that Mr. Jones stands at serious risk of harm.”

Chris Mattei, attorney for the plaintiffs, believes Jones is trying to dodge the deposition.

“This in our view was a cowardly display intended to cheat the plaintiffs of their right to put him under oath and ask him questions,” Mattei said in a Zoom call with reporters Wednesday.

After Mattei found out that Jones wasn’t going to show up Wednesday, he asked the court to compel Jones to go through with the deposition — even if it meant his arrest.

But the defense doesn’t think Bellis has the authority to have Jones arrested. Attorneys cited something they found in Connecticut Supreme Court case law that says an arrest of a witness is “ordinarily conditioned on the issuance of a subpoena.”

“Mr. Jones was not subpoenaed to his deposition. Thus, the Court lacks the authority to issue a capias for his arrest,” the defense wrote Wednesday.

Jones was sued in 2018 by victims’ families after saying that everything about the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that killed six educators and 20 students was “fake.”

In a filing earlier in the week, Mattei said that Jones originally was to be deposed in the fall of 2021. But his deposition had been delayed multiple times. On Tuesday, Bellis denieda request by the defendants to delay Wednesday’s scheduled deposition. Jones’ attorneys said he wouldn’t be able to make it because of an undisclosed illness — that he must remain at home pending test results.

The defense privately submitted a letter from a doctor to Bellis, but the judge raised doubts about it.

“I would say that the movants have submitted no credible evidence upon which the court can properly enter an order postponing the deposition of Mr. Jones,” Bellis said Tuesday.

The court also wanted answers regarding Jones’ whereabouts on Tuesday. While the defense was arguing in an emergency hearing that Jones was under doctor’s orders to not leave his home for the deposition, Jones wasn’t actually home. The defense confirmed that he was broadcasting from his Austin, Texas, studio.

Bellis said Tuesday that Jones’ whereabouts could determine whether the defense “unknowingly misled the court into believing that Mr. Jones has been confining himself to his home.”

In that same hearing Tuesday, Mattei called the latest request to delay the deposition “a dishonest attempt” by Jones to avoid being questioned under oath.

“What is clear is that this notion that Mr. Jones is responsibly complying with some unidentified physician’s recommendation that he be at home under his physician’s care is completely bogus — dropped on the court and the plaintiffs less than two days before he’s to be deposed for the first time in a case that’s been pending since 2018,” Mattei said Tuesday.

The defense called that an “unfair claim.”

“Despite what the opponents might say is suspicious timing here, he does have a history of actually appearing for his depositions and providing testimony,” said Jones’ attorney Kevin Smith.

Smith did say Tuesday that the defense has concerns about content from the deposition being leaked to the public.

To that, Mattei says that his clients have been subject to questioning under oath by the defense, so it’s Jones’ turn to go.

“Now that it’s Mr. Jones’ turn to be put under oath to answer questions posed by the plaintiffs’ lawyers, he’s unwilling to do that,” Mattei said. “It’s ironic because Mr. Jones has been on his show repeatedly saying that these lawsuits are an effort to silence him, to take him off the air. Well, this was his opportunity to speak.”

Jones has already lost the defamation case. In November, Bellis ruled that because of the way that Jones’ legal team handled the discovery process, it could no longer fight claims of defamation. What’s still to be decided is how much Jones will have to pay in damages.

Mattei says his first priority now is to get Jones on the record in a deposition. He said that if he doesn’t, he could use it against Jones when he goes to a jury for damages.

Frankie Graziano is the host of The Wheelhouse, focusing on how local and national politics impact the people of Connecticut.

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