WASHINGTON — Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones testified in a closed deposition before the January 6th Committee on Monday – pleading the Fifth Amendment “almost 100 times,” he claimed, to questions about his contacts with the White House and associations with extremist groups.
Jones, 47, was an invited speaker at a Jan. 5 rally at Freedom Plaza and was filmed leading a crowd of people to the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6 where, according to a letter from the January 6th Committee, he told them then-President Donald Trump was going to address them.
The committee subpoenaed Jones in November as part of a group of close Trump allies, including Roger Stone, Trump’s long-time confidante and a frequent guest on Jones’ InfoWars show. Jones sued the committee in December – which he referred to in his complaint as a “political witch hunt” – in an effort to block that subpoena. As of Tuesday, no initial hearing had yet been held to hear Jones’ complaint.
Nevertheless, on Monday, Jones said he agreed to a sworn deposition before the committee’s lawyers (who he described as “polite and nice”). Jones said questions centered around his involvement in any planning of January 6 events or the attack on the Capitol, links to extremist groups like the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers and his contacts within the Trump administration.
“They kept asking me, ‘Who was your White House contact?’” Jones said. “I knew that Caroline Wren was a big fundraiser. Headed up one of Trump’s PACs. So yes, that was one of my contacts on the 5th and the 6th. Caroline Wren.”
Wren was a fundraiser for Trump and was listed as a “VIP Advisor” on paperwork for the “Stop the Steal” rally at the Ellipse on January 6. She was subpoenaed by the committee in September along with the founders of rally organizer Women for America First and others linked to planning the event.
According to Jones, his contacts with Wren and another organizer, Cindy Chafian, of the Eighty Percent Coalition, were already well known to the committee.
“They have everything that’s already on my phones and things, because I saw my text messages to Caroline Wren and Cindy Chafian and other organizers,” Jones said.
Despite his presence in the restricted area of Capitol grounds on January 6 along with “Stop the Steal” organizer Ali Alexander, Jones has not, to date, been charged in connection with the sprawling investigation. Jones has claimed he entered the restricted area with permission from Capitol Police in an effort to deescalate the situation – an argument a federal judge has rejected for Jones’ employee, Owen Shroyer, who has been charged in the case.
Last week, U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly denied a motion from Shroyer to dismiss the charges against him and rejected claims they amounted to “vindictive prosecution.” On January 6, 2021, the Justice Department has said Shroyer was under a court order banning him from Capitol grounds due to a 2019 pretrial diversion agreement.
Since the January 6 attack, Jones, a one-time ally of Trump, has disavowed the violence and has sought to distance himself from the former president. He also said he denied to the committee having seen a late-December 2020 episode of his show in which guest host Matt Bracken, a former Navy Seal who frequently warns of a coming civil war, was “basically calling for what happened that day.” Jones said he wouldn’t read into whether Bracken was a “provocateur” – implying a guest host of his own show might be a government plant.
“I went there to have a peaceful, political rally,” Jones said. “To put peaceful, political pressure on Congress to have a 10-day investigation by the Senate, because that’s what I thought was right and that’s what my listeners wanted. That was my motive and it’s what I did. It’s a horrible, historic fiasco and I wish it would have never happened.”
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