Longshot presidential candidate Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) on Tuesday spoke out against Antifa’s vicious attack on journalist Andy Ngo in Portland over the weekend and renewed his call for Congress to pass the Journalist Protection Act, a bill that would make it a federal offense to assault a reporter.
“I don’t agree with much of what @MrAndyNgo ever says. But that’s not the point. He should not be harmed for his views and his attackers should be prosecuted. *And Congress should pass my Journalist Protection Act, which makes it a federal crime to assault or batter a journalist,” Swalwell wrote on Twitter.
I don’t agree with much of what @MrAndyNgo ever says. But that’s not the point. He should not be harmed for his views and his attackers should be prosecuted. *And Congress should pass my Journalist Protection Act, which makes it a federal crime to assault or batter a journalist.
— Eric Swalwell (@ericswalwell) July 2, 2019
The California Democrat lawmaker is only the second White House hopeful to condemn the attack. On Monday, Andrew Yang expressed concern about the violent incident, tweeting: “I hope @MrAndyNgo is okay. Journalists should be safe to report on a protest without being targeted.”
I hope @MrAndyNgo is okay. Journalists should be safe to report on a protest without being targeted.
— Andrew Yang (@AndrewYang) July 1, 2019
Ngo, an editor for Quillette, was repeatedly punched and kicked while reporting live from an Antifa rally-turned-violent riot on Saturday.
In addition to taking a beating, he had “milkshakes” thrown at him mixed with “quick-drying cement,” according to Portland police.
After the assault, Ngo was taken to a hospital, where he received medical attention for injuries he sustained to his face and head. The journalist’s attorney, Harmeet Dhillon, told reporters that her client experienced a several, including a brain bleed. Conservative pundit Michelle Malkin set up a GoFundMe for him that has raised nearly $170,000.
Dhillon has vowed to sue those behind the assault “into oblivion.”
Ngo has since been released from the hospital and appeared on CNN Tuesday.
“I think this country, rightfully, is very tuned to knowing and sensing when the right goes too far,” Ngo told CNN host John Berman this morning “I wonder if this country, though, is also attuned to when the left can go too far. In the city of Portland, it’s become a hotbed for far left militancy, and it’s always been my goal to document these protests in a professional manner, and for that, I was deemed to be a provocateur and deserving of my beating.”
In a statement Saturday night, the Portland Police Bureau said three people were arrested in connection to the clashes on charges from harassment to assault, while three people were hospitalized.
Ahead of the Saturday rally, Ngo expressed concern about his safety with Antifa present.
“I am nervous about tomorrow’s Portland Antifa rally,” he tweeted on Friday. “They’re promising ‘physical confrontation’ & have singled me out to be assaulted.”
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell have called on the Department of Justice and FBI to investigate the attack.