By Katelyn Polantz, CNN Reporter, Crime and Justice
Conspiracy theorist and right-wing provocateur Alex Jones says he will not comply with demands the House select committee investigating January 6 has made for his testimony and records, according to a new lawsuit he filed on Monday.
The lawsuit seeks to block the subpoenas and claims Jones should be protected under the First Amendment. He says that he will also decline to answer questions so as not to incriminate himself.
It lands at a moment when the committee has pushed aggressively for witnesses to share what they know about the planning of January 6 rallies and then-President Donald Trump’s reaction to violence at the US Capitol — with some key figures helping the investigation while others, especially those who are well-known among Trump’s far-right supporters, refusing to comply.
The committee in recent weeks has sought phone records from more than 100 people, including Jones, and sent subpoenas directly to at least 50 people.
The committee has called Jones to testify on January 10, according to the lawsuit. A deposition scheduled for last Saturday had been postponed.
An aide told CNN last week the InfoWars host was “engaging” with the panel. But in his lawsuit, Jones implies that any talks he may have had with the committee went off the rails, and he fears the House will refer him to the Justice Department for criminal contempt — an approach they’ve taken with two witnesses so far, Meadows and former Trump adviser Steve Bannon, who failed to appear by the House’s deadline and has been charged with a misdemeanor.
Jones says he offered to hand over documents and answer questions in writing, rather than in an interview, which prompted the House committee to refuse to accept any records he had.
The attempt to drag the House investigation into court follows other legal challenges from witnesses congressional investigators have pursued, including Mark Meadows and Ali Alexander, though Jones’ aims in the suit are much broader than theirs.
“Jones has notified the Select Committee that he intends to plead his right to remain silent under the Fifth Amendment,” the lawsuit states. “The Select Committee has suggested that it may turn to the courts to seek a grant of immunity for Jones and other witnesses.”
The lawsuit says Jones is also challenging a subpoena from the House to AT&T for his phone records. A notice the phone company sent him said it would turn the records over on December 16, four days ago.
“The Select Committee has requested countless documents that Jones possesses for various subjects including about his participation in legally permitted protests in Washington, D.C., financial transactions pertaining to those protests, and documents sufficient to determine how he promoted the protests,” Jones’ attorneys wrote in the complaint, filed in DC District Court.
Jones’ lawsuit also says that he will raise First Amendment objections as appropriate, “asserting that he engaged in constitutionally protected political and journalistic activity under the First Amendment.”
This story has been updated with additional details Monday.
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