By Oliver Darcy, CNN Business
Approximately two years’ worth of text messages sent and received by right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones have been turned over to the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection, a person familiar with the matter told CNN on Monday.
The messages were handed over to the committee by Mark Bankston, the attorney who represented two Sandy Hook parents who successfully sued Jones in Texas and won nearly $50 million in a civil trial that concluded last week.
Bankston would only tell CNN that he is “cooperating with the committee.” The select committee declined to comment.
During the trial, Bankston revealed that one of Jones’ lawyers had “messed up” and inadvertently sent him the two years of text messages. Bankston also said during the trial that the January 6 committee had expressed interest in the material.
Jones’ attorney Federico Andino Reynal asked the judge in the case to order Bankston to destroy the material and not transmit it to the House committee, but the judge declined.
“I’m not standing between you and Congress,” Judge Maya Guerra Gamble told Bankston when asked about sending Jones’ texts to the committee. “That is not my job. I’m not going to do that.”
The source wouldn’t provide details of the exact timeframe of when Jones sent and received the texts in question.
Jones was a central player on January 6. He was on restricted US Capitol grounds that day, riling up protesters, though he did not enter the building itself. He has rejected any suggestion that he was involved in the planning of violence, and claims he tried to prevent people at the Capitol from breaking the law.
Jones testified before the January 6 committee earlier this year, but he later said on his show that he repeatedly asserted his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent during the closed-door deposition.
Rep. Zoe Lofgren, a California Democrat who sits on the committee, said Sunday on CNN that the committee was still waiting to see the texts and was interested to learn more about Jones’ role in the events at the Capitol.
“Well, we know that his behavior did incentivize some of the January 6 conduct and we want to know more about that,” Lofgren said. “We don’t know what we’ll find in the texts because we haven’t seen them. But we’ll look at it and learn more, I’m sure.”
It is unclear if the Justice Department had received the texts as of Monday afternoon. The Justice Department declined to comment.
This story has been updated with additional information.
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CNN’s Sara Murray and Hannah Rabinowitz contributed to this report.