WATERBURY, Conn. —
Corporate representative for Free Speech Systems attorney Brittany Paz finished her marathon testimony. For over three days, the plaintiff and defendant grilled her on the inner workings of Alex Jones' company.
An expert witness has now taken the stand; a new witness for the first time since last Wednesday.
Clinton Watts is an expert in internet analysis and social media, with a focus on counter-terrorism since 2002. He has a military and FBI background, tasked to keep track of how Al Qaeda recruited members on social media and the internet, and more recently, how Russia was interfering with information about the 2016 U.S. Presidential election.
The plaintiffs called him in to testify so that he can inform the jury about how organizations grow their audience online and analyze the effect Jones' content has on the audience over time.
Some of the morning session consisted of Watts stepping down from the stand to inform the jury of the basics and a quick review of the internet, such as how information is sought out and how content creators can push out content to internet users.
Watts also analyzed the video Jones made just hours after tragedy hit Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012, saying that "they" are after people's guns.
Watts explained what he saw in the message of the first part of the clip:
“It's fear over loss of weapons which he uses as the justification, he stokes anger by repeating that it was some sort of a plot, and he uses demonization by picking a target, as in what the perpetrators are an existential threat to what they are behind which, in this case, is taking weapons,” Watts said.
Watts and his team said they did not receive every single piece of analytic web and social media data from InfoWars from 2012 to 2018. With that said, Watts and his team had to do their own research and estimate the reach Alex Jones' videos had on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.
Using data his team could gather, Watts concluded that the minimum outreach for Alex Jones' Sandy Hook lies across YouTube, Facebook and Twitter between 2012 and 2018 was an audience of 550 million.
Watts will be back for further testimony on Friday.
Jones appears at trial, not testifying Tuesday
Conspiracy theorist and InfoWars host Alex Jones briefly appeared at Waterbury Superior Court on Tuesday morning, but it wasn't to testify.
Outside the courthouse, Jones attached the presiding judge, who he said is trying to force him to lie about what he believes.
"The judiciary has been weaponized and is on trial here," Jones said outside Waterbury Superior Court. "The judge has found me guilty despite the fact we turned over all the discovery."
He continued: "They didn't have a case; they had to default me. [The judge] now ordered me to not say I'm innocent and ordered me to say I have not profited from Sandy Hook. That's ordering me to perjure myself. I will not perjure myself under the orders of a judge."
Jones, who was told to be in court on Tuesday for the ongoing defamation trial for calling the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre a hoax, made his comments after arriving by car at the courthouse to a mob of journalists. He departed about five minutes later.
Jones compared the trial to something "right out of communist China or South Africa."
"Regardless of what you think about me or how the media has twisted what I have said over the years, I've apologized for past things I've said that's hurt people's feelings. But I wasn't the first one to question Sandy Hook, and I apologized years ago," said Jones.
Before leaving, Jones said he won't be testifying Tuesday but might be at some point this week. He said he would remain in the area so he is available if called as a witness.
Watch his full remarks below:
The high-profile trial began last week. Jones and his Free Speech Systems company are on trial in a lawsuit brought by an FBI agent who responded to the shooting and relatives of eight of the 20 first-graders and six educators killed in the December 2012 massacre in Newtown.
They say Jones inflicted emotional and psychological harm on them, and they have been threatened and harassed by Jones’ followers.
RELATED: A behind-the-scenes look at the high-powered attorneys running the high-profile Alex Jones trial (Exclusive)
Jones has already been found liable for spreading the myth that the shooting never happened, and the six-member jury will be deciding how much he and his company should pay the plaintiffs in damages.
“I just don’t understand why it’s going to take them four to six weeks to come up with monetary damages on a defamation case when he’s already been found guilty,” said Waterbury resident John Demsey.
Meanwhile, Charles Goldson of Waterbury said, “I think that he's a fraud and I think he’s just making money off lies.”
Much of last week’s testimony focused on exactly that. The prosecution grilled Jones’s corporate attorney Brittany Paz to show how Jones profited off his lies through massive audience growth and spikes in sales of his supplements.
Jones isn’t the only one on trial. So is the First Amendment, the right to free speech.
“You can say whatever you want. But you aren’t protected from other people's reactions to what you say,” remarked Duncan Kelly of Waterbury.
Jones is expected to be in Connecticut from Tuesday to Thursday, but it’s unlikely he’ll take the stand Tuesday as testimony is expected to continue with Jones' corporate attorney Paz.
Jones, who has described the proceedings as a “kangaroo court” from his InfoWars studio in Texas, created caricatures of Judge Barbara Bellis. He runs the risk of being held in contempt.
RELATED: Alex Jones set to testify as Waterbury gears up for his controversial and high-profile trial
Last Thursday, Paz took the stand. But this time, rather than focusing on company data, it was all about Paz’s demeanor with the prosecution calling her out for vague and confusing answers.
On Thursday, FOX61 reported how InfoWars doctored a video thumbnail of judge Barbara Bellis, turning her eyes red. That picture was submitted into evidence Friday.
The lawyer for the Sandy Hook parents, Christopher Mattei, had asked Paz to describe the photo.
“Well you are sitting next to judge Bellis,” suggested Mattei. “That’s what it looks like,” said Paz.
Paz had trouble answering questions during her testimony.
“Has InfoWars been calling this trial a kangaroo court?” asked Mattei. “I don’t know,” said Paz.
Paz also refused to say if a URL link to the InfoWars website would direct a viewer to Jones’ content.
“If someone were to click on that link it would take them to InfoWars correct?” asked Mattei. “I don’t know, I haven’t clicked on the link,” said Paz.
Paz, who is getting paid $37,000 by Jones to research and represent the company, said she’s found it difficult to get answers to her questions about its operations.
The judge has indicated she will decide then whether to limit further what the defense may argue regarding the worth of Jones' holdings.
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