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Wait, did Alex Jones’ lawyer really invoke the Holocaust to defend his client?

For some reason Jones’ defense paraphrased Martin Niemöller’s poem ‘First they came for...’

The prosecution in the Alex Jones defamation case revealed on Wednesday that the InfoWars host’s lawyers had accidentally sent them the contents of Jones’ phone. This leak would seem to be a career low for any attorney and yet, in a closing argument, the defense somehow went lower by citing a famous quote about silence during the Shoah in an effort to sway the jury.

Yes, in his closing argument, Jones’ lawyer Andino Reynal, who is representing his client in a case to determine how much Jones owes for calling the Sandy Hook massacre a hoax, concluded with a quote from German pastor Martin Niemöller. Appealing to the jury, Reynal said that they were, in their verdict, speaking not just for themselves, but for the many who listen to Jones. By bringing up Niemöller to make his case, Reynal was essentially saying that should their decision come with a hefty penalty for Jones, it would be a crackdown on consumer choice somehow tantamount to staying quiet while millions were murdered by the Nazis. (Bizarrely, Reynal also invoked the need for “truth” in their determination, an odd thing given Jones all but admitted he lied about Sandy Hook and may have perjured himself on the stand.)

“Do you want to choose what you get to watch and listen to or do you want a plaintiff’s attorney to decide for you?” Reynal asked, before paraphrasing Niemöller’s words, which are prominently displayed at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

“There was a Lutheran minister named Martin Niemöller in the 1930s, and he was imprisoned in a concentration camp,” Reynal said. “When he got out he reflected on the fact that he had stood quiet. And he said, “first they came for the communists, and I said ‘I’m not a communist’ and didn’t do anything. Then they came for the trade unionists and I said ‘I’m not a trade unionist.’ Then they came for the Jews, and I said, ‘I’m not a Jew.’ And when they came for me, there was no one left.”

By now you may be thinking, “Huh? Are we really using that quote in defense of a man who repeatedly denied the killing of 20 kids? Are we arguing that Jones, who has spotlighted antisemitic conspiracy theories on his show and blamed his many lawsuits on Holocaust survivor George Soros, will be the first victim in a line of silenced voices? Look, I can see some case to be made for people consuming the sort of media they want, but is the right to listen to InfoWars really on par with the right to not be imprisoned in a work camp or murdered on an industrial scale?”

But, I suppose “First they came for InfoWars, and I did not speak out – because I did not listen to InfoWars” doesn’t quite pack the same wallop as the original. Then again, it’s hard to find a winning argument for a guy who said grieving parents lied about the murder of their children.

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