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Alex Jones’ lawyer seeks to dismiss defamation suit brought by survivor of school shooting

Alex Jones’ lawyer seeks to dismiss defamation suit brought by survivor of school shooting
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AUSTIN, TEXAS—Alex Jones’ attorney Thursday sought to have his client removed from a defamation lawsuit brought by Marcel Fontaine, whose photo appeared on InfoWars.com the day of the February shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., erroneously identifying him as the alleged shooter.

“The allegations with respect to Mr. Jones are zero,” Austin attorney Eric Taube told Travis County District Judge Scott Jenkins.

Infowars host Alex Jones arrives at the Travis County Courthouse in Austin, Texas on April 17, 2017. Jones filed a motion Friday, July 20, 2018, to dismiss a defamation lawsuit filed by families of some of the 26 people killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting in Newtown, Conn.  (Tamir Kalifa / Austin American-Statesman via AP, File)

“They say he defamed Mr. Fontaine and he published something” defamatory, Taube said. “He published nothing.”

Taube’s argument is that the decision to publish the photo on the InfoWars web site was made by Kit Daniels, a reporter for Free Speech Systems, LLC, which Taube said publishes the web site, but that Jones himself had no part in publishing the erroneous image and knew nothing about it beforehand.

The posting was removed 13 hours later.

Lawyers for neo-Nazi will defend conspiracy theorist Alex Jones in Sandy Hook case

Jones, InfoWars LLC, Free Speech Systems LLC, and Daniels are all named in the million-dollar defamation lawsuit brought by Houston attorney Mark Bankston on behalf of Fontaine.

Taube, who is representing all the named parties, is seeking to have the case dismissed, but, short of that, he is trying to remove Jones and InfoWars LLC from liability.

Taube contended that Fred Zipp, in an affidavit on behalf of the plaintiffs, misidentified Daniels as an employee of InfoWars, instead of Free Speech Systems. Zipp, a former editor of The Austin American-Statesman, did a study of the journalistic ethics employed or not employed in the publication of the photo, and concluded that the image of Fontaine, which was taken from an anonymous posting on 4chan, a site well-known for its trolling and hoaxes, “was published with reckless disregard for falsity.”

Asked by Jenkins who exactly Free Speech Systems is, Taube, who has represented Jones in the past, said, “I believe Mr. Jones may own it,” but that Bankston had not done his due diligence to get that or precisely who InfoWars LLC is in the record. Bankston, in reply, produced a terms of service document, which seemed to tie InfoWars LLC to InfoWars.com, though he acknowledged, “I don’t know what’s behind the curtains at InfoWars,” and Taube said Bankston’s evidence was “ambiguous.”

Jenkins asked Taube if Jones was not “the decider for InfoWars, and InfoWars controls the web site.”

“There is no evidence of it,” Taube said.

Jenkins will render a decision on whether to dismiss the case against any or all of the defendants within 30 days of receiving any remaining documents in the case.
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