Alex Jones is a right-wing conspiracy theorist based in Austin, Texas, who rose to prominence over the past two decades through his total distrust in government, his promulgation of wild ideas about “the Deep State,” and the apparent appeal of his aggressively anti-establishment InfoWars website and eponymous radio and video talk show.
After the 2012 shooting massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, Jones made the audacious claim that the tragedy was a hoax and that grieving parents were actors, repeatedly pushing that narrative on his media outlets. In 2018, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and other social media platforms banned InfoWars, but even so, as of February 2020, the site had approximately 3.34 million unique viewers. Parents of children killed in the Sandy Hook school shooting brought the most widely publicized lawsuit against Jones, which finally led to a $49.3 million defamation judgment against him in August 2022.
Jones has also propagated the conspiracy theory that the 9/11 attacks were conducted by the U.S. government to further a shadowy “new world order.” He financed and served as executive producer for the 9/11 conspiracy video Loose Change. These positions attracted white supremacists such as Lee Rogers of Infostormer and Andrew Anglin of the Daily Stormer. In 2020, he also spread conspiracy theories about allegedly nefarious goals behind federal and local public health measures taken at the beginning pandemic.
Trump amplified many of the conspiracy theories Jones has pushed, such as claims that President Obama was not born in the U.S. and the wild hoax that presidential candidate Hillary Clinton ran an operation promoting child trafficking, pedophilia, and murder. After the 2020 presidential election, Jones was heavily involved in spreading the Big Lie and attempting to keep Trump in the White House.
January 6, 2021
- After the 2020 election, Jones exchanged text messages with Cindy Chafian, a leading organizer of pro-Trump rallies who brought in a paramilitary group, the 1st Amendment Praetorian, to provide security. The group also has ties to Trump adviser Michael Flynn and coordinated with the far-right militia group, the Oath Keepers, to provide rally security.
- Jones raised at least $650,000 from Publix supermarket heiress Julie Fancelli to fund the March to Save America rally at the Ellipse that preceded the attack on Congress and the Capitol.
- Jones was among the speakers who fired up the crowd at the pro-Trump rally prior to the attack on the Capitol.
- Shortly after Trump finished speaking at the rally, Jones led the angry crowd from the Ellipse up Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol.
- Owen Shroyer, one of Jones’ top aides, was at the leading edge of the attack on the Capitol.
- The FBI is investigating ties between Jones and both the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys, right-wing militias that stoked the violence and are being prosecuted by the Justice Department for seditious conspiracy. In October 2022, one of the Proud Boys leaders pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with the DOJ’s ongoing investigation.
- In January 2022, Jones responded to a subpoena from the House Select Committee investigating the insurrection by pleading the 5th more than 100 times.
- In April 2022, Jones agreed to cooperate with a separate Justice Department investigation but requested immunity.
- In August 2022, once Jones’ lawyer inadvertently released two years worth of text messages to a lawyer prosecuting the Sandy Hook case, the committee also requested access to his text messages to help determine the role he played in planning the attack.