What we know about Alex Jones' role in the January 6th insurrection

What we know about Alex Jones' role in the January 6th insurrection
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Congressional investigators hoped that volumes of phone texts that conspiracy theorist Alex Jones accidentally turned over to opposing counsel in civil litigation would yield answers about his involvement in the Jan. 6 attack on the US Capitol, but the texts reportedly only cover a period through mid-2020.

Mark Bankston, who represents the parents of the children murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012, has reportedly said the cache includes texts with political operative Roger Stone, a longtime friend of former President Donald Trump who, alongside Jones, became a major tribune of the campaign to overturn the 2020 election. The effort by the House select committee to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol to obtain the texts highlights the panel’s sustained interest in Jones’ role.

To date, Jones has not been charged in the attack, but he has played prominent roles in amplifying the messaging of the campaign to overturn the election and building the infrastructure of the protests in the run-up to the attack, culminating in his presence on the ground at the Capitol on Jan. 6.

The committee’s interest in Jones was on display during a hearing on July 12 through recorded testimony of Kellye SoRelle, general counsel for the Oath Keepers. Nine members of the far-right militia face seditious conspiracy charges. SoRelle confirmed that Jones’ name was among three prominent figureheads during the series of protests leading up to Jan. 6.

“You mentioned that Mr. Stone wanted to start the Stop the Steal rallies,” the investigator said. “Who do you consider the leader of those rallies? It sounds like, from what you just said, it was Mr. Stone, Mr. Jones and Mr. Ali Alexander. Is that correct?”

“Those are the ones that became like the center point for everything,” SoRelle responded.

Alex Jones could not be reached for comment for this story.

Through his show on the InfoWars platform, Jones provided a venue for two of the most inspirational figures involved in rallying Trump’s supporters — Stone and retired Lt. General Michael Flynn. But Jones also leveraged his celebrity and following to do his own part in mobilizing Trump’s supporters, and in spreading wild and unfounded claims about election fraud.

In a letter to Jones accompanying a subpoena compelling him to testify and turn over records, the committee took note of a Dec. 20, 2020 broadcast of “The Alex Jones Show,” one day after Trump issued a tweet summoning his supporters to DC for a “wild” rally on Jan. 6.

“He’s calling on you now,” Jones told his audience. “He needs your help. We need your help. America needs to stand up.” Jones said he wanted to see 10 million people in Washington, DC on Jan. 6, adding, “We’re going to descend on the swamp January 6th. The president is going to be attending the rallies. He’s announcing he’s going to be there. This is going to be massive.”

On Dec. 29, Jones homed in on an objective for the Jan. 6 rally, scheduled to coincide with Congress’ session to certify the electoral votes.

“Well, let’s just say you’re going to want to go to DC on the 6th,” Jones said. “It will show the globalists we know Trump really won. And it will begin the process one way or another of removing the globalist puppet Joe Biden. And I mean by impeachment or keeping him from getting in on the 20th.”

Filling in for Jones on New Year’s Eve, guest host Matt Bracken added tactical specificity to the mission.

“We’re only going to be saved by millions of Americans by moving to Washington, occupying the entire area, if necessary, storming right into the Capitol,” Bracken said. “We know the rules of engagement. If you have enough people, you can push down any kind of fence or a wall.”

Amplifying the false claims of election fraud during an InfoWars broadcast on Christmas day, Jones offered his audience a fantastical and nightmarish description of the election that was unsupported by any evidence.

“They close everything out, kick everyone out, pull out briefcases,” he said. “Chinese men and vans come in in Michigan and start just shoving it in the machine. We get the footage showing it all. They’re death-threating witnesses. They’re arresting witnesses.”

Weeks before the 2020 election was held, Stone appeared as a guest on Jones’ show on Sept. 10, 2020. There, Stone previewed an election-fraud narrative and called for martial law that would become familiar during the interregnum between the election and Jan. 6.

“The ballots on election night in Nevada should be seized by federal marshals and taken from the state,” Stone said. “They are completely corrupted. No votes should be counted from the state of Nevada if it turns out to be the provable case. We can prove voter fraud in the absentees right now. Send federal marshals to the Clark County Board of Elections, Mr. President. It’s all there.”

Prompted by Jones’ insistence that “it’s clear they think they can steal it,” Stone recommended that Trump appoint a special counsel “with a specific task of forming an election-day operation using the FBI, federal marshals and Republican state officials across the country to be prepared to file legal objections and, if necessary, physically stand in the way of criminal activity.”

On the eve of the attack on the Capitol, Stone interviewed Flynn, Trump’s former national security advisor, at the Willard hotel.

Declaring that “there’s a DNA in the American psyche” that “goes all the way back to 1776” — referring to the Revolutionary War — Flynn reeled off a string of baseless claims of election fraud.

“Everybody in this country, everybody in the world knows that this election on the third of November was a total rip-off,” Flynn said. “It was a fraudulent election. We have had foreign interference from multiple countries — I’ll rattle ’em off if you want to get into that — and Donald Trump was the clear winner. For the next four days after the third of November — from about the 4th through the 7th, 8th of November — they just started stuffing the ballot boxes. And everybody knows it, and they got caught.”

The January 6th Committee has also signaled its awareness of Jones’ involvement in organizing the rallies surrounding the mobilization on Jan. 6. Citing press reports and Jones’ own statements, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), the committee chairman, mentioned in his public letter that Jones worked with two women, Cindy Chafian and Caroline Wren to organize the Jan. 6 rally at the Ellipse, and helped line up a funder, Publix heiress Julie Fancelli, to cover “eighty percent” of the cost.

Jones reportedly said after his testimony earlier this year that the January 6th Committee has already obtained text messages between him and Wren, a former campaign fundraiser who Jones identified as his “White House connection.”

Through Jones’ testimony in January, the committee also confirmed that Jones was on at least familiar terms with the leaders of the neo-fascist street brawling group the Proud Boys, who, like the Oath Keepers, face charges of seditious conspiracy. Jones disclosed that after a rally at the Georgia state capitol in Atlanta in November 2020, he saw Proud Boys at Hooters who were “drinking beer and ate cheeseburgers.” A photo posted on Telegram by Jeremy Bertino, a high-profile Proud Boy who has not been charged in connection with the Jan. 6 attack, shows Jones seated between Bertino and national chairman Enrique Tarrio.

While Jones has so far avoided criminal charges for his role in the events of Jan. 6, two InfoWars personnel — host Owen Shroyer and correspondent Samuel Montoya — have been arrested. Shroyer is charged with knowingly entering or remaining on restricted grounds and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, while Montoya is charged with entering and remaining in a restricted building and disorderly and disruptive conduct, among other offenses.

Erika Wulff Jones, Alex Jones’ wife, went to the Capitol separately from her husband on Jan. 6, riding on the back of a golf cart with Cindy Chafian.

Alex Jones traveled with another contingent to the Capitol, as the January 6th Committee noted in its letter to him. Jones has said that the “White House” told him that after the rally at the Ellipse ended, he was tasked to lead a march to the Capitol where Trump would meet them. While Trump never made it, Jones, Shroyer and Ali Alexander marched to the Capitol.

“Go to the other side of the Capitol,” Jones said, leading the marchers to the east side of the Capitol. “That’s where Trump’s going to be.”

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