Giuliani Loses Georgia Election Worker Lawsuit

Trial will determine how much he owes to mother, daughter who sued for defamation
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 30, 2023 12:12 PM CDT
Giuliani Loses Georgia Election Worker Lawsuit
Rudy Giuliani speaks outside the Fulton County jail, Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2023, in Atlanta.   (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Rudy Giuliani's financial problems might soon be getting worse. In a default judgment, the former New York City mayor and Trump lawyer was held liable in a defamation lawsuit filed by two election workers in Georgia, CNBC reports. A federal judge ruled Wednesday that Giuliani had defamed mother and daughter Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss when he accused them of mishandling ballots in Atlanta in the 2020 election, reports the New York Times. The case will still go to trial, but only to determine damages. Judge Beryl Howell of the DC District Court said the trial will be scheduled for later this year or early 2024.

In a filing last month, Giuliani said he did not contest the accusations and conceded that he had made "false" statements about the women. He later said it was a move toward having the case dismissed. In her ruling Wednesday, Howell said his stipulations had "more holes than Swiss cheese and found him liable for "defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, civil conspiracy and punitive damage claims," per the Times. The judge ordered Giuliani to pay $133,000 in sanctions for failing to turn over evidence. In her ruling, she accused him of "willful" misconduct, saying "the bottom line is that Giuliani has refused to comply with his discovery obligation" in the case.

Giuliani, who still faces election-related felony charges in Georgia along with Trump and 17 other co-defendants, falsely claimed that the two women had pulled thousands of fake ballots from a suitcase in a polling station. He doubled down on the accusations after they were debunked, comparing the women to drug dealers and saying their homes should be searched, the Times reports. Freeman and Moss said they received death threats and feared for their safety after they were targeted, CNN reports. According to the lawsuit, the FBI recommended Freeman leave her home for her own safety. CNN notes that damages against Giuliani could be in the millions. (More Rudy Giuliani stories.)

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