Far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones says he spent hundreds of thousands of dollars and coordinated with the White House in the organizing of a January 6 event that culminated in a failed insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. In comments made on Infowars broadcasts and during speeches delivered in Washington, D.C., in the days before January 6, Jones and his fellow Infowars host Owen Shroyer frequently used violent and revolutionary rhetoric in calling for the overturning of legitimate election results.
Five people lost their lives during the violent incursion in the Capitol that immediately followed an inciting speech given by the president on January 6. Trump supporter Ashli Babbitt was fatally shot by a U.S. Capitol Police officer as she attempted to breach the Speaker’s Lobby, which is close to the U.S. House of Representatives floor. U.S. Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick was beaten to death with a fire extinguisher by Trump supporters. Three other Trump supporters died after experiencing medical emergencies, including one who was trampled to death by the mob.
Some Trump supporters made it clear their purpose in the Capitol was to hunt down and kill lawmakers. The quick thinking of Capitol Police officer Eugene Goodman, who faced down the mob alone, diverted rioters away from the Senate floor, as captured in a stunning video taken by HuffPo reporter Igor Bobic.
Jones’ Infowars outlet was promoting a January 6 event as early as December 31. In a video posted to Infowars’ streaming platform Banned.video, a man ranted about the false claim that Trump won the 2020 election, saying, “These liberals think they can just do whatever the fuck they want. You know why that is? It’s because we sit there and we say we want to talk it out.” The video transitioned to promotional material for Infowars’ January 6 event and included a voiceover of Jones saying “It’s 1776 time,” a reference to the Revolutionary War.
On January 2, Jones said during a broadcast that “it takes money to put my crew and security in D.C., and it takes money to organize this, and we put a lot of money -- myself -- into paying for the event Trump is going to be at and the other event.” He then encouraged viewers to buy nutritional supplements from the Infowars Store and told them they “are funding the second American Revolution.”
The next day, Jones again discussed his involvement in planning and paying for the event. During his broadcast, he excoriated Trump supporters who were hesitant to travel to Washington, D.C., claiming, “I’ve seen people making a lot of excuses. ‘Oh, antifa is dangerous.’ It’s a lot more dangerous walking across the street. There’s hardly no antifa. They are a bunch of cowards.” (After mayhem unfolded at the Capitol, Jones and his outlet falsely blamed antifa supporters for the violence that took place.) He added, “It’s not about Infowars getting the credit for this, it’s about the fact that no one would step up and put the money in. ... I stepped up and put the money in for the 5th and for the 6th and then a donor came along, a great patriot, and paid $400,000-plus for the rest of it. I’m in over $130,000, and I'm not complaining about that. I had to do it when no one else was two weeks ago.”
Jones, Infowars host Owen Shroyer, and other Infowars employees then traveled to Washington, D.C. During a January 5 speech in downtown Washington, Shroyer said, “Americans are ready to fight. We’re not exactly sure what that is going to look like, perhaps, in a couple of weeks if we can’t stop this certification of the fraudulent election of Joe Biden.” He went on to “salute” Sens. Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) for their efforts to overturn the election and said of the people gathered there, “We are the new revolution.”
Meanwhile, Jones was at an event outside the Supreme Court, where he told a crowd, “We are facing Satan, and the answer to Satan’s 1984 is George Washington’s 1776.”
That evening, Jones and Shroyer regrouped to give more speeches in downtown Washington. Shroyer told a crowd, “Thomas Jefferson once said when the government fears the people, there is freedom. But for too long now the people have feared the government. … I can tell you that the crooked politicians that occupy our Capitol are in fear right now. Do you know how I know this? Because they are scurrying around in secret tunnels to avoid ‘we the people.’ Right now as we speak they’re scurrying around like the little rats that they are to try to avoid you.”
When Jones took over the lectern, he told a cheering crowd that “we have only begun to resist the globalists” and that “they have tried to steal this election in front of everyone.” Jones also said, “I don’t know how all this is going to end, but if they want a fight, they better believe they’ve got one.”
He went on to say, “This will be their Waterloo. This will be their destruction.” (Waterloo refers to the pivotal battlefield defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte that ended the Seventh Coalition.) Jones also said that Winston Churchill “gave a famous speech where he said all I can promise you is blood, and pain, and war, and suffering. But the alternative is even worse: total slavery.” He then led the crowd in a “1776” chant.
The violent rhetoric continued the next day at Infowars’ event, which immediately preceded the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. During a January 6 speech in downtown Washington, Jones again told a crowd, “We declare 1776 against the New World Order.” Shroyer spoke from his own bullhorn while standing beside Jones, saying, “They said you lost this election in a landslide to [Joe] Biden. We said, ‘No, we don’t buy your bullshit.’ But, guess what? You want to feed us bullshit? We’re going to bring it right to your front door and you can eat it yourselves.” (Some Trump insurrectionists at the Capitol did in fact smear their own feces throughout the building’s hallways during the attack.)
At one point, Jones told the crowd to head to the Capitol “peacefully,” in contradiction to much of what he had said about what should happen on January 6. He also attempted to rile up the crowd by falsely telling them that Biden’s win in Arizona had been reversed and that “we have only begun to fight. This is 1776.” As people began to make their way to the Capitol, Shroyer yelled from a bullhorn that Democrats are “tyrants” and led the crowd in a “death to tyrants” chant. Jones then can be then heard attempting to privately confer with his crew, saying, “Let’s take it to the Capitol.”
While Jones and Shroyer did not enter the Capitol building and instead retreated to a “secure location” during the insurrection, an Infowars cameraperson, who identified himself only as “your boy Sam with Infowars.com,” did go inside as both a mob participant and a recorder of the events. Shortly before entering the building, he said, “We have had enough,” and “I got to be honest, this is not a peaceful protest.” Once he crossed the threshold, he yelled, “Guess what? We are in the Capitol, baby!” From a video uploaded to Banned.video with the title “Patriots Storm Congress Raw Footage Includes Execution of Ashli Babbitt,” it is apparent that “Sam” was just feet away from Babbitt when she was fatally shot near the Speaker’s Lobby. Although recent Infowars videos identify him only as “Sam,” older videos posted to Banned.video reveal that he appears to go by the name Sam Montoya.
As the attempted insurrection unfolded, Infowars’ Harrison Smith, who was guest-hosting The Alex Jones Show because Jones and Shroyer were in Washington, praised the “patriots” who were storming the Capitol, at least one of whom participated in beating officer Sicknick to death. The following day, Jones again claimed to have spent “close to a half a million dollars” organizing the gathering in Washington and also said that he organized the event in coordination with the White House.
Following the 2020 presidential election, Jones called on his supporters to “surround” the Georgia governor’s mansion and “rise up” because officials in that state refused to overturn Biden’s legitimate victory. In December, Shroyer praised the efforts of Trump supporters to violently disrupt the Oregon state legislature’s consideration of a COVID-19 relief bill.
Throughout the Trump presidency, Jones has often hyped the prospect of a second American Civil War that would pit conservatives against liberals, including saying that he would personally participate in violence and help execute supposed traitors. In recent months, Jones has hosted Oath Keepers militia founder Stewart Rhodes, who said during his Infowars appearances that his followers were on alert for a command from Trump to start carrying out mass violence against Democrats in Washington, D.C., and at other locations.
For his part, Shroyer said during a November 18 broadcast that prominent Democrats and members of the mainstream media “deserve” to be the victims of mass violence if Trump is not allowed to continue to be president, despite his defeat. He added, “I know I won’t have to be the one to get my hands dirty. I can sit right here in studio and just broadcast the whole thing.”