POLITICS
05/23/2018 12:42 pm ET Updated May 24, 2018

6 Sandy Hook Families, FBI Agent Sue Alex Jones For Defamation

The lawsuit is the latest of several targeting the Infowars conspiracy theorist.
Alex Jones is having a bad year.
HuffPost Illustration/Reuters
Alex Jones is having a bad year.

Alex Jones may start to learn that his actions as the conspiracy-minded host of Infowars have consequences. 

Family members of six victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, filed a defamation lawsuit on Wednesday against Jones, who for years has peddled the false conspiracy theory that the massacre never happened. FBI agent William Aldenburg, who was among those responding to the shooting in which 26 people were killed, joined the suit, which was obtained by HuffPost.

The suit also names Jones’ Infowars contributor Wolfgang Halbig and Halbig’s associate, Cory Sklanka. It was filed by attorney Josh Koskoff of the Bridgeport, Connecticut-based law firm Koskoff Koskoff & Bieder. 

Part of Jones’ false narrative has been that interviews of Sandy Hook parents conducted by CNN were fake.

“Folks, we’ve got video of Anderson Cooper with clear blue-screen out there,” Jones said in a 2014 Infowars broadcast. “He’s not there in the town square. We got people clearly coming up and laughing and then doing the fake crying. We’ve clearly got people where it’s actors playing different parts for different people ... covering up everything.”

The suit lists numerous videos made by Jones and articles he has written, including one story published just after the shooting titled “FATHER OF SANDY HOOK VICTIM ASKS ‘READ THE CARD?’ SECONDS BEFORE TEAR-JERKING PRESS CONFERENCE.” The story had a video attached to it titled “Sandy Hook Shooting Exposed As a Fraud.”

In a May 2014 broadcast, Jones asserted that former Mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg knew about the shooting before it happened. This, of course, is a lie.

“The whole thing, you’ve got ’em jumping the gun ... that Bloomberg was saying get ready the day before, get ready to fundraise on mass shootings ... had a false start, didn’t you Bloomy?” Jones said in a broadcasted conversation with Halbig, according to the suit.

Jones’ sidekick, Halbig, has called the Sandy Hook victims “crisis actors” and has also questioned whether the Pulse nightclub and Parkland mass shootings in Florida took place, according to Koskoff.

Halbig, a 70-year-old former police officer and school administrator, harassed the victims and made more than 22 trips from his home in Florida to Connecticut to deliver “highly controversial testimony” to the Newtown Board of Education, the suit said. His many visits led police to warn that he would be charged with harassment unless he stopped contacting residents, according to the suit.

In a 2015 Facebook post, Halbig floated a false claim that a father of a Sandy Hook victim and Aldenberg were the same person. He’s called the shooting a “scam” and “the biggest illusion ever portrayed by Homeland Security and FEMA,” the new suit says.

The suit joins a long list of others filed against Jones this year. The parents of two Sandy Hook children filed one in April alleging they have been harassed by conspiracy theorists because of Jones. Earlier that same month, Jones was hit with a defamation lawsuit for misidentifying the Parkland school shooter. And in March, he was hit with a defamation suit for promoting a conspiracy about a witness to the Charlottesville, Virginia, Unite the Right rally last year in which counterprotester Heather Heyer was killed by an alleged white supremacist.

Koskoff said in a statement that Jones “saw an opportunity” to profit off the Sandy Hook tragedy.

“He went on a sustained attack that has lasted for years, accusing shattered family members of being actors, stating as fact that the shooting itself was a hoax and inciting others to act on these malicious lies,” Koskoff said. “He knew his claims were false but he made them anyway to further a simple but pathetic goal: to make money by tearing away at the families’ pain. This lawsuit seeks to hold Alex Jones and his financial network accountable for those disgraceful actions.”

This story has been updated with details from the lawsuit.

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