Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones told his listeners about the “dogged” questioning of the House of Representatives January 6 committee, which he appeared before on Monday.
The pro-Trump Infowars broadcaster said that he asserted his Fifth Amendment rights nearly 100 times during his interview. He said that he did this on the advice of his lawyers.
Politico reports among the things he was asked about by the committee were his movements on 6 January 2021 when the pro-Trump mob attacked the US Capitol, and his contact with fundraiser Caroline Wren – a liaison with the White House for logistics related to former-President Donald Trump’s rally at the Ellipse in Washington DC.
Detailing his movements on the day, Mr Jones said that he was not going to head to the Capitol, but Ms Wren came over with Secret Service agents and they opened up a gate allowing him through to try and direct the crowd on Pennsylvania Avenue, under the impression that the then-president would be going there to speak again.
Mr Jones said he had doubts about joining the throng heading towards the Capitol when he saw the size of the unwieldy crowd that had formed as Mr Trump spoke at the Ellipse.
“You know, maybe we just won’t do this,” he said he thought to himself.
Mr Jones then played video footage that showed him encouraging people to march to the Capitol, but he repeatedly told the crowd through a megaphone to be peaceful and “occupy DC” while leading chants of “USA!” He specifically asks those in earshot to not confront the police.
The committee also asked him about his contacts with the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers far right groups and whether he had used members as security, Mr Jones said.
He told listeners that he once ate at a Hooters in Atlanta with some members of the Proud Boys after a pro-Trump rally there, but on 6 January he had relied on a private security firm based in Austin. He was provided with a security detail of former Maryland and DC police officers.
Mr Jones said that he did not see either group as a paramilitary threat, but saw it all as “LARPing” [live action role playing] likening them to “playing soldier” in their backyard.
“If the indictment is true, that they thought they could foment and kickstart and detonate a rebellion … that is not something I knew about or something I support or something I want,” said Mr Jones.
He also told listeners that the committee said that they routinely listen to his broadcasts. Mr Jones said that he denied being aware of substitute host Matthew Bracken’s specific suggestion that the Capitol be stormed on a 31 December 2020 episode.
Mr Jones said he was aware that his co-host Owen Shroyer had been charged with encouraging the crowd in a restricted area of the Capitol grounds and was now facing prosecution.
He described the charges as a “bunch of stuff he didn’t do”.