Giuliani fined $132,000, loses defamation suit brought by Georgia election workers

August 30, 2023

A federal judge in Washington DC on Wednesday fined former Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani and his businesses more than $132,000 for failing to hand over discovery to two Georgia poll workers’ lawsuit.

The judge ruled in favor of the poll workers, Ruby Freeman and her daughter Shaye Moss, who alleged Giuliani defamed them.

In a 57-page opinion U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell ruled in favor of the two election workers by default after Giuliani resisted turning over that discovery.

In a July court filing related to the lawsuit, Giuliani admitted that he had lied about the pair.

“Defendant Giuliani concedes solely for purposes of this litigation before this Court and on Appeal: that Defendant Giuliani made statements of and concerning Plaintiffs…[and] to the extent the statements were statements of fact and otherwise actionable, such actionable factual statements were false,” Giuliani’s attorneys wrote in the filing.

In June 2022, Moss testified during a televised hearing of the House Select January 6 Committee about how a mob of Trump supporters had targeted her and her mother, both online and in person, after consuming debunked conspiracy theories about their actions on Election Day 2020, to the point where Moss said she and Freeman felt safe “nowhere.”

Giuliani, who was advising Trump on efforts to overturn the 2020 election, falsely claimed that Moss and Freeman could bee seen on video passing USB drives “like vials of heroin or cocaine” while counting ballots in Fulton County, Georgia. 

Moss testified to Congress that what her mother was actually passing to her was “a ginger mint.” 

Ahead of the broadcast Freeman testified to the Committee that because of Giuliani’s false scapegoating, “I have lost my name and I have lost my reputation” as well as “my sense of security.”

Judge Howell had previously warned Giuliani that he could face severe sanctions for not gathering his own records in a thorough way and turning them over to Moss and Freeman’s legal team as their lawsuit against him proceeds. 

Giuliani, meanwhile, is among 19 co-defendents, including former President Trump, indicted on racketeering and other charges related to the attempt to overturn the 2020 Presidential election in Georgia. Last week, along with the other co-defendants, Giuliani turned himself in at Fulton County jail and had his mug shot taken.

Giuliani also agreed to a $150,000 bond deal—the most of any co-defendant other than Trump, whose bond was set at $200,000.

In losing the defamation suit brought by Moss and Freeman, Giuliani could face significant penalties.

Earlier this month, Giuliani said in court he’s effectively out of cash and facing six figures’ worth of legal bills and sanctions after working for the former President.

Soon after, it was revealed that Trump is hosting a $100,000 per person fundraiser for Giuliani at the former President’s golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey on September 7.

Giuliani, Trump and most of the other 19 co-defendants are set to be arraigned in Georgia on September 6.

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