Alex Jones suing Pelosi and Jan. 6 panel, planning to plead the Fifth
Far-right radio host Alex Jones is suing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and the select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol in an effort to stop the panel from requiring his testimony and obtaining his phone records as part of its probe.
The lawsuit, which was filed on Monday in Washington, D.C. district court, also reveals that Jones has informed the committee of his intent to plead the Fifth Amendment if compelled to appear before the panel for a deposition, currently set for Jan. 10.
Jones also said he informed the committee that he will raise First Amendment objections when the panel asks about “constitutionally protected political and journalistic activity.” The radio host, however, said the committee has disputed his assertions.
The House select committee subpoenaed Jones on Nov. 22, requesting that he appear for a deposition and produce documents related to the Jan. 6 attack. He revealed in Monday’s lawsuit that the panel also subpoenaed AT&T for “comprehensive information” relating to his communications between Nov. 1, 2020 and Jan. 31, 2021.
The panel, in a statement announcing the subpoena, said Jones “reportedly helped organize the rally at the Ellipse on January 6th that immediately preceded the attack on the Capitol, including by facilitating a donation to provide what he described as ‘eighty percent’ of the funding.”
The committee wrote that Jones previously said the White House asked him to lead a march from the rally at the Ellipse to the Capitol, where then-President Trump would meet up with the group.
“Mr. Jones has repeatedly promoted unsupported allegations of election fraud, including encouraging individuals to attend the Ellipse rally on January 6th and implying he had knowledge about the plans of the former President with respect to the rally,” the committee added.
Former Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows filed a lawsuit against Pelosi and the committee earlier this month, contending that the panel did not have the authority to subpoena him or request his phone records from a third party.
His lawsuit also claimed that President Biden’s failure to assert executive privilege creates constitutional questions that should be determined through litigation.
The House voted to hold Meadows in contempt of Congress on Dec. 14 after he failed to appear for a deposition.
Jones wrote in the lawsuit that he has “substantial reason to fear that the Select Committee may cite him for contempt of Congress if he refuses to answer its questions on grounds of constitutional privilege.”
Jones in his lawsuit said he volunteered to submit documents and answer questions in writing. The committee, however, reportedly refused his offer and instead demanded that he sit for a deposition in person.
He also said he rejected the committee’s offer to speak to investigators informally about certain limited topics because the panel “has not treated others that it has offered the same deal to fairly and with respect” and because members on the panel “have made it abundantly clear that they are only interested in prosecuting political adversaries.”
The Hill reached out to Pelosi and the select committee for comment.