Attorney for Journalist Andy Ngo Warns of Legal Action Against Antifa

By Janita Kan
Janita Kan
Janita Kan
Janita Kan is a reporter based in New York covering the Justice Department, courts, and First Amendment.
July 1, 2019 Updated: July 3, 2019

An attorney representing journalist Andy Ngo, who was assaulted by members of far-left extremist group Antifa during a protest in Portland, Oregon, warned that she plans to take legal action against them.

Ngo, who is known for extensively documenting Antifa violence, was brutally assaulted while he was covering one of the group’s protests on June 29. The scene was captured by a local reporter in video footage that shows Antifa members punching him in the face, kicking him, and hurling cups of a white substance at the journalist. Portland police later said the cups contained quick-drying cement mixed into milkshakes.

The attack left Ngo bloodied and bruised; his ear lobe torn. He was also required to stay in the hospital overnight due to a brain bleed. In a video after the attack, the journalist, who looked shaken and covered in the white liquid, said his attackers had also stolen his camera equipment.

Ngo’s lawyer, Harmeet K. Dhillon, who has been posting updates about Ngo’s condition after the attack, said in a statement on July 1 that she plans to sue the Antifa extremists involved in the attack “into oblivion.”

“Goodnight everyone except Antifa criminals who I plan to sue into oblivion and then sow salt into their yoga studios and avocado toast stands until nothing grows there, not even the glimmer of a violent criminal conspiracy aided by the effete impotence of a cowed city government,” Dhillon wrote in the statement.

Hours after the attack, Dhillon took to social media to inform people that Ngo had been admitted into the hospital. She also took the opportunity to criticize those who were “gloating” about the incident.

“You sick ‘journalists’ and other hacks gloating about this should be ashamed. As for the rest, please pray for [Andy Ngo] who we need back in health—brave man!” she wrote.

Ngo’s employer, Quillette magazine, wrote in an editorial on June 30 saying Antifa had “attacked him for the simple reason that he has challenged their ideological propaganda—an Antifa tactic that any true fascist would recognize and applaud.”

Epoch Times Photo
The Rose City Antifa prepare to march in opposition to members of HimToo and Proud Boys in Portland, Oregon, on June 29, 2019. Several groups from the left and right clashed after competing demonstrations at Pioneer Square, Chapman Square, and Waterfront Park spilled into the streets. According to police, medics treated eight people and three people were arrested during the demonstrations. (Moriah Ratner/Getty Images)

Antifa’s origins can be traced back to the “anti-fascist” movement in Germany, which was part of the Soviet Union’s front operations to incite a communist revolution in the European country. In the United States, the group claims that its members are fighting fascism, but rarely do they confront actual fascists. Instead, their members, who are made up of communists, socialists, and other hard-left radicals, label parties and individuals who don’t align with their ideology as “fascists” to justify its use of violence against them.

The group has frequently made headlines for its violent attacks on opposing groups, particularly Trump supporters, whom they have branded as “fascists.”

a man covered with his face in blood walks in portland
An unidentified man injured by Antifa extremists at Pioneer Courthouse Square on June 29, 2019. (Moriah Ratner/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler was placed under the spotlight for his handling of the protests. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) called for legal action and an investigation into Wheeler, who is also the police commissioner for the city, for allegedly ordering his police officers to maintain a supposed “hands-off” approach during the assaults.

“To federal law enforcement: investigate & bring legal action against a Mayor who has, for political reasons, ordered his police officers to let citizens be attacked by domestic terrorists,” Cruz wrote in his post.

“[Those] who facilitated or turned a blind eye to domestic terrorists—e.g., the Mayor—should be held fully accountable. By DOJ. By civil litigators. By criminal prosecutors. AND by the media,” he wrote in a separate tweet.

Similarly, Richard Grenell, a current U.S. ambassador to Germany, also called for the Justice Department to investigate the incident.

“I have asked @TheJusticeDept to investigate this incident in Portland. I can’t just sit by and watch my friend be brutally attacked,” Grenell wrote.

In a series of social media posts on July 1, Wheeler condemned the violence at Portland over the weekend, calling it “unacceptable.”

“Over the weekend some chose to engage in violence in Portland, which is unacceptable and will not be tolerated,” Wheeler wrote. “We stand against all forms of violence—regardless of someone’s political leanings.”

“Portland police officers have the unenviable task of keeping the peace. It’s a difficult job and hard decisions are made in real-time. While we continue to learn more about what transpired over the weekend, we will keep you informed. We will do everything we can to make sure that those who have committed violence are held accountable,” he added.

His posts didn’t address the allegations made toward him.

Portland Police Bureau said in a statement on June 29 that they had received multiple assault reports and reports of violence toward demonstrators and officers. They said three people—two females and one male—were arrested and charged but it is unclear whether those arrests were made in connection to Ngo’s attack.

Meanwhile, Ngo has since received extensive support following the attacks. A GoFundMe account set up by conservative commentator Michelle Malkin for Ngo surpassed its goal by more than double the day after it was created.

Ivan Pentchoukov contributed to this report.

Janita Kan
Janita Kan is a reporter based in New York covering the Justice Department, courts, and First Amendment.