August 8, 2023
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Andy Ngo Loses Lawsuit: Portland Jury Finds No Fault for Two Activists in Civil Trial
Portland, Oregon—After seven days of trial, a 12-person Multnomah County (Portland) jury found no fault against activists John Hacker and Elizabeth Richter, in a lawsuit that was filed three years ago by conservative provocateur Andy Ngo. Ngo sought over $300,000 for a variety of alleged incidents involving many people between 2019 and 2021.
The lawsuit was filed in 2020 by Ngo, in an attempt to weaponize the legal system against the right-wing boogeyman of what he has labeled “antifa” (short for “anti-fascist”). Ngo lumps together into his version of “antifa,” a wide range of social justice advocates, even including people from the moderate “Wall of Moms” – in an apparent attempt to gain access to personal information about those he perceives to be leftist activists and to make personal profit from patreon and other social media platforms. To use a term he often uses, he committed “lawfare.” His original complaint named individual people for “assault,” “battery,” and “intentional infliction of emotional distress,” as well as alleging an Oregon civil racketeering (RICO) claim against an amorphous campaign called Rose City Antifa.
Two weeks before the trial, a Multnomah County Circuit Judge ruled that Rose City Antifa could not be sued because it is not a discrete legal entity, and dismissed the state RICO claims.
“The evidence overwhelmingly showed that identifying an infamous provocateur is protected speech and does not amount to assault and battery. We thank the jury for their earnest work in coming to the right decision in this case,” said Cooper Brinson, one of the attorneys representing Ms. Richter. Mr. Brinson went on to say “thank you to Civil Liberties Defense Center for their invaluable work on this case and to our other co-counsel too.”
As Mr. Hacker’s and Ms. Richter’s legal teams pointed out throughout the trial, Mr. Ngo and his attorneys were relying almost completely on evidence that those two defendants simply spoke freely about a public figure, after other people had allegedly assaulted him. Mr. Ngo has proudly proclaimed that he is (or was at the time) one of the most (in)famous journalists in Portland – yet tried to convince the jury that but for Mr. Hacker and Ms. Richter making public comments about him he would not have been identified during a June 2021 event.
“The jury’s verdict was a resounding affirmation that Multnomah County is not home for hate-filled far right extremist provocateurs like Andy Ngo who incite others to commit racist and antisemitic acts of violence and intimidation.” said Lauren Regan, CLDC Executive Director.