ANDY NGO REPORTS: Judge rejects leftist attorney’s bid to disqualify San Diego DA from prosecuting Antifa felony conspiracy case

An attempt by an activist attorney to get an Antifa violent conspiracy case out of San Diego was laughed out of court.

Andy Ngo and Eva Knott San Diego CA
This is part of a series reporting on the So Cal Antifa cell.

An Oakland attorney representing an Antifa client lost his motion requesting the San Diego District Attorney be disqualified from prosecuting the felony conspiracy and riot case, asking for it to be sent to the California Attorney General, where he hoped the entire case would be dismissed by the Democrat politician.

Oakland-based attorney Curtis Briggs represents far-left activist Jeremy Jonathan White. White, now 41 years old, was arrested at his home in Boyle Heights, Los Angeles on Dec. 2, 2021 for his alleged role in a violent Antifa conspiracy and riot earlier that year in Pacific Beach, San Diego.

Investigators and prosecutors accuse Jeremy Jonathan White of wearing full riot gear and a gas mask at the Antifa attack in San Diego

Eleven people, about half from Los Angeles, were indicted last year by a secret grand jury on a total of 29 felonies, including conspiracy to riot, assault and other violent crimes. Seven defendants have already been convicted in plea deals, leaving four defendants to face trial. San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan has been targeted by far-left militant activists for her prosecution of suspects accused of belonging to Antifa cells in southern California.

Attorney Briggs accused the district attorney, a Republican, in court on Nov. 17 of being a right-wing extremist and that she should be "disqualified" from prosecuting his client’s case. Briggs displayed as evidence a post D.A. Stephan had shared in April of 2018 on then-Twitter during her election campaign. The post was critical of George Soros backing her competitor (who lost) and featured a photo of the billionaire superimposed on a photo of people in black masks and clothing.

Leftist attorney Curtis Briggs represents violent Antifa suspect Jeremy Jonathan White

"She tied Soros to Antifa!" Briggs complained to San Diego Superior Court judge Daniel Goldstein. When questioned by the judge, Briggs admitted that Soros did give money, through various entities, to the D.A.'s political opponent—leftist anti-police activist Genevieve Jones-Wright. Though no evidence has ever emerged directly linking Soros or one of his associated nonprofits to Antifa groups, leftist district attorneys who did benefit from his money when they were candidates later routinely declined to prosecute leftist suspects arrested at riots in 2020 and 2021.

Leftist defense attorney Curtis Briggs showed this as evidence, arguing that San Diego DA Summer Stephan be disqualified from prosecuting the case against his client

Defense attorneys for the other three alleged Antifa co-defendants—Jesse Merel Cannon, 38, Brian Cortez Lightfoot Jr., 27 and Luis Francisco Mora, 32—joined in Briggs' motion trying to disqualify the district attorney.

Attorneys representing Stephan and the deputy district attorneys handling the case complained that Briggs' arguments were personal attacks on Stephan and that there was no evidence of any actual conflict in the criminal case.

San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan. Photo: Eva Knott

After hearing arguments from the attorneys for two hours, the judge denied Briggs' motion to disqualify the D.A.

"I am not pleased with how personal this is all getting," Judge Goldstein said.

The judge also warned all the attorneys that he would consider "contempt of court" charges if they could not avoid making the case "political." The judge had previously warned them, repeatedly on the record, to keep politics out.

Judge Daniel B. Goldstein is presiding over the Antifa felony conspiracy case

Briggs' failed motion is not the only unusual motion filed with this court. In July, far-left San Francisco activist attorney, John Hamasaki, who represents defendant Brian Cortez Lightfoot Jr., tried—and failed—to get the court to ban The Post Millennial from reporting on this case.

Jury trials for the four remaining defendants were originally scheduled to begin in December this year, but have now been delayed to at least March 2024.

At the same court hearing, Briggs blamed the victims identified in the grand jury indictment as the provocateurs of violence and said there was no conspiracy to violence by Antifa. "It was a mutual fray," Briggs claimed. "There are random acts of violence, people just showed up."

Jeremy Jonathan White has been hiding his face from media by wearing a mask

At one point, Briggs focused on a person identified as "Victim CB" in the indictment, stating this person antagonized another person into "hitting him with his skateboard."

While showing a photo of one confrontation, Briggs demanded of the judge: "Name a crime here!" Judge Goldstein immediately responded: "No, I don't take your questions. You do not ask questions of me."

Felony Antifa suspect Jeremy Jonathan White was a militant Black Lives Matter activist who was arrested previously at another direct action

Evidence presented about Jeremy Jonathan White to the grand jury

White has had at least three different defense attorneys since he was first arraigned in 2022. He is charged with felony conspiracy to riot and felony assault. In evidence video shown to the grand jury at the time, White was identified as the 6 foot 2 inches tall man in the riot gear "body armor" outfit. According to San Diego Police detective Emily Clark at the grand jury hearing, White was dressed from "head to toe in body armor" and wearing a gas mask over a black balaclava.

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