EXCLUSIVE: Defense attorneys attempt to discredit Andy Ngo over appearances on Fox News

Attorneys attempted to paint Ngo as a controversial right-wing public figure.

Katie Daviscourt Seattle WA
Photos: Chelly Bouferrache

On Thursday, the case of investigative journalist Andy Ngo vs. Rose City Antifa and its affiliated members resumed for day three of the jury trial at the Multnomah County Courthouse in Portland, Oregon. Ngo filed a lawsuit seeking nearly one million dollars in damages from alleged Antifa violence, which began in 2019.

Plaintiff Andy Ngo was cross examined by the defense after Ngo had testified against defendants John Colin Hacker and Elizabeth Renee Richter in the days prior, in which his legal team had submitted both written and video evidence to the court that seemingly supported Ngo’s allegations in the complaint.

The attorney for Richter, Cooper Brinson, and Hacker, Michelle Burrows, began their cross examinations by attempting to paint Ngo as a controversial right-wing public figure whose work has come under fire for a partisan ethos. Ngo defended his work against these claims.

Cross Examination: Defense Attorney Cooper Brinson

Attorney Brinson asked Ngo to verify his media appearances on Fox News, such as Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham, and mentioned Ngo’s more than one million followers on Twitter, suggesting that Ngo isn’t just an average journalist but rather one that is well-known.

Regarding The Nines Hotel incident that occurred on May 28, 2021 in which Ngo was brutally attacked by a mob of Antifa before seeking refuge inside the hotel, the attorney asked Ngo a series of questions about the accusations made against Richter, who is being accused in the complaint of approaching Ngo, broadcasting his location via livestream, and spewing threats of violence.

The attorney questioned Ngo, who is the senior editor of The Post Millennial, about why he had concealed his identity while reporting in the field that day, asking “Do most journalists dress in disguise while on duty?”

Ngo replied, “Most do not.”

The day prior, Ngo had testified that he chose to conceal his identity over safety concerns following multiple brutal attacks carried out by alleged members of Antifa, which have reportedly been captured on video and submitted as evidence to the court.

The attorney questioned Ngo about his attire, specifically if the goggles he was wearing that day obscured his vision and whether his undercover disguise could have caused him to stick out within the group that he was covering. The day prior, Ngo testified that he was wearing a black mask, goggles, black clothing, and had a Black Lives Matter flag draped as a cape while he reported in the field on May 28, 2021.

“Your testimony yesterday was that Richter looked at you,” Brinson said to Ngo. “The goggles were hard to see through, right?”

Ngo told Brinson that despite wearing goggles, the woman that had approached him that night before the beating was allegedly Richter.

The defense attorney then questioned Ngo about why he didn’t go to a nearby police station after he had testified that he started to panic once he had allegedly been approached by Hacker, Richter, and multiple members of black bloc Antifa near the end of the event. Brinson implied that Ngo should have been able to go to the police station without incident by the way that he was dressed, despite Ngo already being approached by Antifa that night, with many of them seemingly questioning his identity.

Ngo testified that the police station was in the same vicinity of where Hacker, Richter, and other black bloc Antifa members were during the time and suggested that his safety would have been in jeopardy had he gone back in that direction.

Brinson then went through the series of brutal assaults carried out against Ngo by a mob of Antifa that night, which was captured on video and submitted into evidence, and asked Ngo if he was able to identify whether defendant Richter was involved in any of those beatings.

Ngo testified that he has not yet been able to verify the identities of the black bloc Antifa militants that physically attacked him that night. Ngo was unable to rule out defendant Richter because she had been dressed in all black, but testified that he didn’t believe Hacker had physically assaulted him that night because Hacker was not dressed in black bloc attire, which was revealed on surveillance video.

Attorney Brinson told Ngo that his identity and location were being posted by many different people on Twitter that night, including by journalists Sergio Olmos and Zane Sparling, and questioned Ngo why he wasn’t suing them, too.

Ngo’s legal team issued evidence of a tweet made by journalist Zane Sparling, who had reported on the event that night, which showed a timestamp of 3:57 am, which was after Ngo had allegedly been attacked.

Brinson then questioned Ngo about his encounter with Richter inside The Nines Hotel, in which he alleged that there were security guards surrounding Ngo and suggested that the defendant was not showing any acts of physical violence, questioning why Ngo would have feared Richter during this.

Ngo’s legal team issued evidence of surveillance video footage that allegedly shows Richter physically trying to break into The Nines Hotel as a security guard was desperately trying to hold the doors shut from the mob of Antifa.

The defense attorney concluded his cross examination by stating that there is no evidence that Richter was involved in any of the brutal beatings against Ngo that night.

Cross Examination: Defense Attorney Michelle Burrows

Attorney Burrows’ cross examination focused on the two incidents in the complaint that allegedly involve defendant Hacker, as well as Andy Ngo’s history as a journalist, in which Burrows alleged has been controversial.

Burrows questioned Ngo about his early work as a journalist and mentioned an opinion piece that he had written for the Wall Street Journal. Ngo testified that it was a piece about his “complicated views with organized religion” and that he was proud of his work and had even received praise for it.

The attorney asked Ngo if he was aware that staff from the Wall Street Journal issued a letter condemning his article and added that other publications had also criticized his piece. Ngo testified that he didn’t recall any negative comments but remembered the positive ones.

Burrows asked Ngo if he had ever been accused of not fact checking his articles and alleged that left-leaning publications such as the LA Times, Portland Mercury, and The Oregonian have been critical of his work.

Ngo testified that individuals who have been critical of his work are usually writers from left-leaning publications, or those that hold far-left extremist views. Regarding the fact-checking accusation, Ngo testified that out of his thousands of reports, he has never written an article that had been retracted nor has he ever been sued for his work.

Burrows questioned the journalist about a correction that was issued to his article in the WSJ. Ngo replied that this happened after he had personally approached an editor and wanted to add more context to something in the report that could have been misleading without further information. Ngo testified that he was not asked to make the correction, but rather had asked an editor if he could make it.

The attorney questioned Ngo on why he is not suing other alleged affiliated members of Antifa that have either carried out acts of violence against him or have threatened him. This pertained to the June 29, 2019 beating, the May 28, 2021 beating, and the May 1, 2019 assault.

Ngo testified that he has not yet sued some of these said individuals because he has been unable to identify them due to their identities being concealed by their black bloc attire during the time of the attacks. Ngo also testified that pertaining to alleged death threats and severe threats of violence that he has received online, law enforcement explained that these threats are protected speech in the state of Oregon, which is why he has not yet sued.

Pertaining to the October 31, 2019 incident in which Antifa allegedly showed up to his parents’ home wearing masks of his face, Ngo testified that he did not sue the individuals involved because he has not yet been able to establish their identities.

Regarding The Nines Hotel incident on May 28, 2021 in which Hacker, like defendant Richter, had allegedly approached Ngo before he was brutally beaten by a mob of Antifa, Ngo explained that he was able to positively identify Hacker because of surveillance footage from that night, as well as the incident that had occurred on May 7, 2019.

Ngo testified that he does not believe Hacker physically beat him the night of May 28, 2021, and said that he established this theory based on the clothes that Hacker had been wearing that night. Ngo recalled the individuals that beat him were in black bloc attire.

Burrows showed Ngo a map of downtown Portland and asked him to point to the spot where Hacker allegedly approached him that night. She then went through the surveillance video footage from that night and asked Ngo if he was able to point out Hacker as one of the people seen physically beating him. Ngo was unable to verify Hacker as one of the assaulters in the video footage that was shown.

Regarding the May 7, 2021 incident, in which Hacker has been accused of allegedly pouring water on Ngo at a 24 hr. fitness gym and then forcibly taking his phone while Ngo was recording the altercation for evidence, attorney Burrows explained that the gym had a strict no video recording policy and questioned Ngo if he knew about the policy.

Ngo testified that gym staff had witnessed him using his phone to record because they had arrived to investigate the altercation. He explained that he was never reprimanded by the gym for recording on his phone, nor did the gym terminate his membership. However, Ngo testified that Hacker’s gym membership was terminated.

Burrows then questioned Ngo’s accusations that Hacker had allegedly poured a half liter of an unspecified liquid onto him while at the gym, which he had stated in the police report. Ngo testified that he remembers stating that amount, but it was an estimate.

The jury will next hear deposition from the defendants.
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