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Infowars host Alex Jones accused of threatening Sandy Hook lawyers after child porn is found in his electronic files, court document says

Key Points
  • Electronic material that Infowars host Alex Jones turned over to the families of Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims who are suing him contained images of child pornography, according to a court filing.
  • The filing also accuses Jones of threatening Christopher Mattei, a lawyer for the families, and his law firm, during an online broadcast of "The Alex Jones Show" on Friday in which he angrily claimed that unnamed people were "trying to set me up with child porn."
  • The suit claims that Jones and others have "persistently perpetuated a monstrous, unspeakable lie: that the Sandy Hook shooting was staged and that the families who lost loved ones that day are actors who faked their relatives' deaths." Jones has said more recently that he has "had a chance to believe that children died" at Sandy Hook.
Alex Jones of InfoWars talks to reporters outside a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing concerning foreign influence operations' use of social media platforms, on Capitol Hill, September 5, 2018 in Washington, DC.
Drew Angerer | Getty Images

Electronic material that Infowars host Alex Jones turned over to the families of Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims who are suing him contained images of child pornography, according to a court filing Monday.

The filing also accuses Jones of threatening Christopher Mattei, a lawyer for the families, and his law firm, during an online broadcast of "The Alex Jones Show" on Friday in which he angrily claimed that unnamed people were "trying to set me up with child porn."

"I'll get your a--," Jones said, before offering a $1 million bounty for information that led to the apprehension and conviction of whoever sent him emails containing child porn.

Jones, who is being sued in Connecticut for allegedly defaming the Sandy Hook families, adamantly denied having known that child porn images was contained in email attachments sent to his Infowars media company.

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Jones said the FBI has informed him that there is no evidence that he ever opened the emails containing the porn, or that he ever sent porn himself.

And he implied that the lawyers for the families suing him were behind an effort to put child porn into his electronic files.

On the broadcast, Jones' lawyer Norm Pattis said: "Somebody directed child pornography into your email accounts hoping that you opened it." But Pattis said he would be "shocked" if the plaintiffs' lawyers were involved.

In a filing late Monday, Pattis said that on the InfoWars progam on Sunday, Jones "issued a public apology to Attorney Mattei."

"Mr. Jones apologized for the statements he made [during] the previous day's broadcast saying, 'I'm not saying that the lawyers for the Sandy Hook families set me up or did this,'" Pattis wrote.

Pattis' filing also asked the judge in the case to stay the proceedings because lawyers for the plaintiffs have "raised serious allegations" about whether there are conflicts of interest between Pattis and Jones.

A hearing in the case, which already was set for Tuesday, will address the claims that Jones threatened Mattei and his firm.

"Threats against counsel have been made on air to a very large audience," lawyers for the plaintiffs wrote.

"The plaintiffs therefore request that the Court review the video in advance of tomorrow's hearing. Plaintiffs intend to move to seek specific relief on an expedited basis, but this is an issue that the Court should be fully aware of at the earliest possible moment."

In their filing, lawyers for the plaintiffs quoted Jones at length to substantiate their claim he was threatening the attorneys.

After pounding his fist on a photo of Mattei, Jones fumed, "And then no magically they want metadata out of hundreds of thousands of emails and they know just where to go. What a nice group of Democrats. How surprising. What nice people."

"Chris Mattei. What a good American. What a good boy. You think you'll put on me what. ... Anyway I'm done. Total war! You want it, you got it!"

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The filing by Mattei's firm said that Jones and other defendants in the lawsuit turned over "a massive volume of documents" in electronic form on May 21 as part of the discovery process in the defamation case.

In that case filed in May 2018, families of four children and two educators who were slain at the Sandy Hook school in Newtown, Connecticut, by lone gunman Adam Lanza accuse Jones of invasion of privacy, defamation, negligent infliction of emotional distress.

The suit claims that Jones and others have "persistently perpetuated a monstrous, unspeakable lie: that the Sandy Hook shooting was staged and that the families who lost loved ones that day are actors who faked their relatives' deaths."

Jones has said more recently that he has "had a chance to believe that children died" at Sandy Hook.

After getting the electronic files from Jones last month, the plaintiffs' electronic information consultants then began loading those files into a database to make it easier to review them, according to the filing.

"During that process, the consultants identified an image that appeared to be child pornography," the plaintiffs' filing said. "They immediately contacted counsel, who immediately contacted the FBI."

The filing said the FBI directed lawyers for the plaintiffs to turn over the entire set of documents to the FBI, "which was done."

Afterward, "The FBI advised counsel that its review located numerous additional illegal images, which had apparently been sent to Infowars emails addresses," the filing said.

"When the FBI indicated it had completed its review, plaintiffs' counsel advised [Jones' lawyer] Pattis of the matter and arranged a joint telephone call with the United States Attorney's Office."

The filing said that "if the Jones Defendants had engaged in even minimal due diligence and actually reviewed the materials before production [to the plaintiffs], they would have found the images themselves."

Pattis and a spokesman for the FBI's bureau in New Haven, Connecticut, did not immediately respond to CNBC's inquiries about the alleged child pornography discovered in the materials.

However, Pattis told The Connecticut Post that while "Mr. Jones was upset, he did not threaten Mr. Mattei," according to an article in that newspaper.

"He spoke in a compassionate fashion," Pattis told the paper.

And Pattis, during a second broadcast by Jones, said, "We gave emails under court order to the lawyers for Sandy Hook. And that included metadata, or coded data, about the emails and what they meant and what they were associated with."

"It is my understanding that the Sandy Hook lawyers then sent those materials to a California firm, to tell them what was in it, basically," Pattis said. "The California firm spotted something suspicious, and did what lawyers are supposed to do. They reported it to the FBI."

"For two weeks, the FBI conducted an inquiry, and I learned on Wednesday of this week that that inquiry concluded that no one here has any guilty knowledge of those emails," Pattis said.

"Indeed, there is no reason to suspect anybody even knew they were here. They were not opened."

Jones then chimed in, "So they are basically booby traps. They are land mines."