Article and Photos by Alejandro Alvarez
Video by Ford Fischer
Alex Jones headed to Washington on Monday to announce his response to a defamation case stemming from InfoWars’ coverage of Charlottesville.
A live audience of about 50 people heard remarks from Roger Stone, Jack Posobiec, and Lee Stranahan – with frequent interjections from an energized Jones, who often touted InfoWars’ viewership “in the millions” and repeatedly bashed corporate-owned media as tyrannical. The event was organized by InfoWars and hosted at the National Press Club in downtown Washington.
Officially dubbed “Alex Jones Invades the Swamp,” Jones and his lawyer announced a countersuit against Brennan Gilmore, a Charlottesville resident whose tweets in the first moments after James Fields rammed his vehicle into protesters would ultimately see him implicated in a far-right conspiracy theory claiming the attack had been staged.
Months later, Gilmore filed suit against Alex Jones, claiming defamation by InfoWars and a number of similar online media for portraying him as a “deep state,” anti-Trump operative. Calling Jones himself a “menace,” Gilmore announced his move in a Washington Post piece in which he also claimed threats were made to himself and his family.
Tuesday’s press conference served as Jones’ response. Jones – a boisterous media personality who often depicts himself as a fighter in a perpetual battle against the menacing, omnipresent elite – pushed back against Gilmore’s claims of defamation, instead accusing Gilmore of utilizing the legal system to undermine the First Amendment.
“This isn’t just a regular lawsuit,” Jones said, calling Gilmore’s suit an attempt “to intimidate, bully, and stifle the first amendment.” Joined by his attorney, Andrew Grossman, Jones said he feared the case could set a precedent for restriction of free speech, adding that Gilmore’s victory would “be the repeal of the First Amendment by fiat.”
Jones’ suit is asks courts to strike Gilmore’s case as a strategic lawsuit against public participation, or SLAPP, a civil complaint in which the alleged injury resulted from an activity protected by the First Amendment. 28 states have statutory protections against SLAPPs, including Virginia, where the legal battle between Gilmore and Jones is taking shape.
Jones dismissed Gilmore’s claims against him as “fabricated” and said his lawyer believed the suit wouldn’t survive legal scrutiny – though the decision to countersue, Jones said, stems from his belief that “the stakes are too high” due to the question of free speech. Jones and his attorney repeatedly asserted that Gilmore be required to pay for any resulting court fees.
Apart from commenting on his case, Jones also accused cable and print media of unfairly portraying his Austin-based operation as conspiracy peddlers, deriding mainstream media as “nothing but parrots that put out corporate and socialist garbage,” repeatedly naming billionaire investor George Soros as the mastermind of a corporate plot to discredit alternative media.
Jones also said he had dined at the Trump International Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue the night before, only to be taken aback by the prevalence of CNN on hotel television screens. “I’m trying to get a steak at Trump tower and I got damn CNN looking down on me,” Jones said. “You walk into the bathroom and there’s Anderson Cooper looking down at your ding-ding.”
At one point, conservative activist Cliff Kincaid, co-author of a 2016 book titled Red Jihad: Moscow’s Final Solution for America and Israel, challenged Jones and Stone on alleged evidence the later colluded with Russian intelligence through his connection to WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange.
“The Russia thing is such a turnoff for so many people, and you’ve got to admit it, you were a favorite of [Russia Today] a couple of years ago, ” Kincaid told Stone, to which an animated Jones replied by embracing and kissing a nearby American flag, sarcastically screaming “I love Putin.”
Stone also responded to a question from News2Share’s Ford Fischer, who asked if he’s scared his home could be raided like Michael Cohen’s.
“I have nothing to hide. I know nothing about Russian collusion or any other inappropriate action pertaining to the 2016 election.”