New York City Judge Eileen Bransten said that InfoWars founder Alex Jones’ conspiracy claims in a defamation lawsuit brought by parents of children killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting were so baseless that she could not order him to pay their legal fees.
“These counterclaims were both frivolous and bald faced lying accusations which were and are defamatory in nature,” Bransten wrote in a decision Thursday. “They were not made to redress actual harm caused by Infowars’ statements but for purposes of promoting Infowars’ brand.”
Bransten went on to note that Jones blamed the shooting on a fake news “Fur Coat” operation conducted by the left and the FBI, in addition to the Chinese government, the “New Age nation” and even the British Royal Family — all are targets of Infowars.
Michael R. Parsons and Lenny Pozner and Veronique De La Rosa sued Jones for defamation in New York for claims made on his radio show that the Parson’s son was a “crisis actor,” a tool of the government. Both parents had lost their 7-year-old son Noah in the Sandy Hook shooting that killed 26 people.
“There were 52 ‘crisis actors’ in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that killed their son,” Jones said on his radio show. “You look at all the perpetrators: They’re all government agents. They’re all the FBI. They’re all the six police officers. They’re all the ATF [Assassination Squad]. They’re all the New York Police.”
In her decision, Judge Bransten dismissed claims that Jones should pay their attorney fees and failed to prove there was actual prejudice. She noted the “unrelenting vilification” of Pozner and De La Rosa as well as her lack of an actual reason for taking them on as clients.
CNN had reached out to the Pozner family, who did not respond. They could still appeal the decision to the Appellate Division, First Department.
“These parents experienced unbelievable tragedy in their community and lost their 7-year-old son Noah. They deserve to be vindicated for his death,” Jones said in a statement to CNN. “We are now preparing our appeal to protect InfoWars’ right to be heard. The families who appear on our show have no qualms with our reporting or statements. We ask that they join us in this effort to speak out against conspiracy theorists that scapegoat people who are vulnerable and who deserve our sympathy.”
InfoWars is Jones’ news and discussion website which has become famous for spreading false or fraudulent information. The website and television show has gained a strong following through its relatively inexpensive and mostly automated production.
While Jones has come under fire for numerous instances of irresponsible reporting, including a series of conspiracy theories involving the shooting of the U.S. school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, he has appeared in recent months to walk back some of his more inflammatory statements, occasionally granting interviews with CNN and CNN en Español.
Jones has also made a number of pre-trial comments indicating he is willing to walk the tightrope of justifying his beliefs while arguing that the trial process doesn’t require him to actually prove them.