- Hillary Clinton mentioned Alex during her presidential campaign over the comments he made about the Sandy Hook parents.
- Donald Trump appeared on Alex’s show. When he won, he promised Alex that he would not be disappointed.
- “I don’t think the left ever forgave Alex for that,” said Pattis.
When I connect with Norm Pattis, he is in northern Vermont with Athena, his dog, for what he calls “a little bit of time off.” Nonetheless, he is busily writing post-trial briefs after the Alex Jones case in Connecticut, the Austin-based radio and television host hit with a billion dollars in compensatory damages.
“What the hell was going on in this case?,” he wonders aloud. “It’s not exactly the kind of history I wanted to make.”
Although the jury already returned a chilling decision, the Jones case still keeps Pattis busy. The case could set a precedent for lawfare against controversial speakers, including Ye, formerly known as Kanye West
“Who knows who is next?” says Pattis. “Alex and Ye are low hanging fruit. They’re easy right now.” He notes that one thing they have in common is a preoccupation with George Soros and the World Economic Forum.
“Alex Jones is obviously a conspiracy theorist,” said Pattis. “He doesn’t trust the government. He doesn’t trust mainstream media.” Jones believes Rahm Emanuel meant what he once said: “never let a good crisis go to waste.” It’s just the way Jones thinks, according to his lawyer.
“Jones’ default reaction whenever there was a mass shooting was to think, “What did the government set up now? What are they going to do to take our guns,” says Pattis.
Jones ultimately raised doubts about the reality of what the Sandy Hook parents and community endured. Pattis, who doesn’t live far from Sandy Hook, has a friend who lost his stepdaughter at Sandy Hook.
“There was never any question in my mind that it was real,” he said. “But to Jones, sitting 1000 miles away, how was he to determine that this any more real than the Tuskegee experiments, or Kennedy being shot by one person, or those 9/11 truthers who doubt the reality that it was a terrorist attack?”
Jones said the things for which he was sued in December 2012, while the event remained fresh. He had guests, “Sandy Hook” truthers, who discussed Sandy Hook over the years. Nothing happened to Jones. Until 2018, when he all of the sudden gets sued by 16 of the parents and surviving family members.
Why The Democrats Went After Alex Jones
Hillary Clinton mentioned Alex during her presidential campaign over the comments he made about the Sandy Hook parents. Donald Trump appeared on Alex’s show. When he won, he promised Alex that he would not be dissapointed.
“I don’t think the left ever forgave Alex for that,” said Pattis. “The maelstrom that led to this litigation six years after the fact was part of the attempt to silence him, because he was raising questions that are inconvenient, and, in some cases, crazy, like the Sandy Hook stuff. As to Davos, as to big data, as to social utility scores, as to big tech taking over our government, our lives, and as to the influence of China, the World Economic Forum, and others on global affairs, I think Alex was right.”
The parents filed the lawsuit in 2018. Jones asks the court for permission to have Mark Randazzo, one of the nation’s leading First Amendment lawyers, represent him by way of a process called pro hoc viche, where a lawyer not admitted in Connecticut can appear on behalf of a client. It was denied.
“Almost never happens,” said Pattis. “He was denied the counsel of choice. The plaintiff lawyers loaded him up with enormous discovery requests in preliminary proceedings that were designed to give him permission to try to throw the suit out on First Amendment grounds. He never recovered from those discovery requests.”
The plaintiff’s lawyers treated InfoWars as if it were IBM. “When he couldn’t respond with a standard of perfection, they began moving for a series of defaults,” explains Pattis. Ultimately, they got a default on liability. The trial was only a hearing in damages.
Jones never had a chance to defend on the merits. “The way the trial unfolded, the judge made extraordinary rulings on causation; she ruled that any harm, emotional distress or harassment or intimidation that these folks suffered after 2012 was Alex’s fault—from anyone in the world, under any circumstances.”
For the first time in his career, Pattis says hearsay was normalized in a courtroom “I had witnesses testify that ‘Jane Doe told me that Mr. X urinated on my child’s grave.’” Pattis says that would be devastating for any parent to hear.
But from a lawyer’s perspective, is that hearsay? Is somebody’s out of court statement being used to prove the truth of the matter asserted?
“Objection,” Norm would say to such utterances . “Hearsay.”
“Denied,” the judge would reply.
Moreover, the law of the case put Jones at a disadvantage. It said that everything is Jones’ fault. “I sat through a trial, where Jones was made responsible for the reaction of anyone who looked funny at those parents over the years.”
The court heard stories about death threats over the phone without hearing the phone calls or identifying the declarant. It heard stories about notes left on doors without seeing the notes, knowing who put them there, or even necessarily what they meant. Stories about things plastered on windshields and confrontations with anonymous people on the street.
“The jury was told that it had been established that Jones was responsible for all that,” said Pattis. “The jury never knew that, as a result of Jones’s failure to comply with the plaintiffs extraordinary discovery requests, he was liable for things he may not have done.”
And when it came time to assess damages, none of the plaintiffs offered bills of any sort.
There was no medical testimony. “They testified about how upsetting all this was, and none of them asked for a particular dollar amount,” said Pattis. “But, their lawyer got up and asked for the world. And he got a bunch.”