Conspiracy theorist, falsehoods promoter for profit, and Infowars founder Alex Jones will have to pay families of the 2012 Sandy Hook mass shooting at least $965 million in damages after a jury returned a unanimous verdict in a consolidated case. Jones for years had falsely claimed the 20 young children and six adults slaughtered while in their elementary school were “crisis actors.”
The Associated Press reported the total damages, which include amounts for emotional distress and slander. He will also have to pay attorneys fees, which will be awarded by the judge later.
Attorney Paul Butler said on MSNBC the punitive damages are about sending a message about the depravity here, and try to measure in dollars the depravity in such that anybody else who’s thinking about spreading lies like this can’t hide behind the First Amendment.”
MSNBC also reports Jones has gone back to denying the fact that Sandy Hook was a mass shooting, reporting he has recently said it is “synthetic as hell.”
CNN reports the “decision marks the culmination of a years-long process that began in 2018 when the families took legal action against Jones and his company, Free Speech Systems, the parent of the fringe media organization Infowars.”
“Jones baselessly said again and again after the 2012 mass shooting, in which 26 people were killed, that the incident was staged, and that the families and first responders were ‘crisis actors.’ The plaintiffs throughout the trial described in poignant terms how the lies had prompted unrelenting harassment against them and compounded the emotional agony of losing their loved ones.”
Jones has reportedly made millions off his false claims.
Earlier at trial Jones told the court he was “done” apologizing, and claimed that he believed the false “crisis actor” claims he had made.
Jones was not in the courtroom as the damages were being read, but NBC’s Ben Collins reports on his radio show he said, “This must be what Hell’s like, they just read out the damages. Even though you don’t got the money.”
Jones also vowed, said, according to Collins, “We’re not going away, we’re not going to stop.”
The verdict is in: InfoWars’ Alex Jones owes the families of Sandy Hook victims about $1 billion for defamation.
Here are the full eight minutes of the verdict. pic.twitter.com/0z6xaMRDY0
— The Recount (@therecount) October 12, 2022
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DOJ Signals It Is Conducting a Criminal Investigation of George Santos
The U.S. Dept. of Justice Friday signaled it is conducting a criminal investigation of U.S. Rep. George Santos‘ campaign finances when it asked the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to pause its probe into the embattled New York freshman GOP lawmaker.
“The request is the clearest sign to date of an active criminal investigation examining the congressman’s campaign finances,” The Washington Post reports.
But NBC News goes one step further.
“Federal prosecutors in New York have opened an investigation into Rep.-elect George Santos, two law enforcement sources confirmed Thursday,” NBC states. “The probe by federal prosecutors from the Eastern District of New York is at least the second investigation into Santos.”
“The two sources confirmed that prosecutors are examining Santos’ finances, including potential irregularities involving financial disclosures and loans he made to his campaign as he was running for Congress,” NBC adds.
The Santos campaign this week, according to The Daily Beast, amended FEC filings that originally claimed about $625,000 in “personal” loans from the candidate’s personal funds were actually not from the candidates personal funds. Santos has since refused to state where the money came from.
DOJ also asked the FEC for any “relevant documents” for the Santos’ campaign, The Post noted.
“Separately, the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday interviewed two people about Santos’s role in Harbor City Capital, an investment firm that was forced to shut down in 2021 after the SEC accused it of operating a ‘classic Ponzi scheme,'” according to The Post’s reporting.
Watch: Santos Responds to Report He Joked About Hitler, ‘The Jews’ and Black People
U.S. Rep. George Santos (R-NY) allegedly made a social media post appearing to praise Adolf Hitler while referring to “the Jews and Black” people, and frequently made pejorative “jokes” about being Jewish according to friends interviewed by Patch and screenshots of now-deleted social media posts.
In 2011, Santos “commented on a Facebook post with what appear to be intended-jokes about Hitler, a phrase that appears to salute Hitler and observations about ‘the Jews and black[s],’ exclusive screenshots obtained by Patch show.”
Patch, which published a screenshot of what appear to be Santos’ comment, reports he had written this: “hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh hiiiiiiiiiiiitlerrrrrrrrrrr (hight hitler) lolololololololololololol sombody kill her!! the jews and black [sic] mostly lolllolol!!! Dum”
Sarah Fishkind, whose LinkedIn profile describes her as a political organizer, posted video Thursday afternoon of her conversation with Rep. Santos.
“Do you have any comments about your most-recently-leaked Facebook comments about killing all Jews and Black people?” she asked, according to her post.
“I’m sorry?” Santos, appearing to be stunned, replied.
“It’s on the news right. now,” she responded, “that you Facebook commented.”
Santos replied with a frustrated huff, then said: “That’s going to be hard to hold.” It’s unclear what he meant by that comment.
While on his way to the House floor, I asked George Santos about his recently leaked Facebook comment saluting hitler.
— sarah fishkind (@sarahefishkind) January 26, 2023
Santos ran and won his congressional seat claiming to be a gay Jewish Republican, only later to falsely claim he never said he was Jewish, but “Jew-ish.” He also lied about his grandparents fleeing the Holocaust.
In an interview with JNS at the RJC meeting last month, Santos said, “as I always joke, I am Jew-ish” and repeated his claim about his grandfather “fleeing Hitler” in 1940.https://t.co/OTkCVt0uam pic.twitter.com/U3kn2ZNFhu
— Jacob Kornbluh (@jacobkornbluh) December 21, 2022
Jewish groups have condemned his false claims of Jewish heritage, which include false claims that his grandparents were “Holocaust refugees.”
Watch the videos above or at this link.
This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change.
Trump to Get His Facebook Account Back Two Years After Losing It for ‘Inciting Violent Insurrection’
Donald Trump, the one-term ex-president who lost the 2020 election by 7 million votes and proceeded to incite a violent and deadly insurrection, will have his Facebook and Instagram accounts reinstated after losing them for what CEO Mark Zuckerberg one day after the 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol said was the “use of our platform to incite violent insurrection against a democratically elected government.”
Facebook’s parent company, Meta, “will allow former President Donald Trump to return to Facebook and Instagram in the coming weeks, the company announced Wednesday,” CNBC reports.
Trump’s attorneys recently sent Meta a letter urging the social media behemoth allow the former president, who currently is under several federal and state criminal investigations as he launches a third run for the White House, to return.
“As a general rule, we don’t want to get in the way of open, public and democratic debate on Meta’s platforms – especially in the context of elections in democratic societies like the United States,” Nick Clegg, Meta’s president of global affairs, wrote in a blog post announcing the decision, CNBC adds. “The public should be able to hear what their politicians are saying – the good, the bad and the ugly – so that they can make informed choices at the ballot box.”
At 8:36 PM on January 6, 2021, Facebook had publicly announced it was imposing a 24-hour block on then-President Donald Trump, following the deadly riot and insurrection on Capitol Hill. The following day Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the social media giant had banned Trump “indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks until the peaceful transition of power is complete.”
But later that year in June, Facebook’s Oversight Board decided Trump’s suspension would be in place for just two years, starting in January of 2021, but also appeared to make clear the suspension would be lifted after that time.
“When the suspension is eventually lifted,” Facebook’s Oversight Board said at the time — making clear the suspension would be lifted “when,” and not “if” — “there will be a strict set of rapidly escalating sanctions that will be triggered if Mr. Trump commits further violations in future, up to and including permanent removal of his pages and accounts.”
This is a breaking news and developing story.
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