A federal judge determined on Wednesday that Rudy Giuliani is legally responsible for defaming two Georgia election workers. These individuals were the target of conspiracy theories regarding the 2020 election, which Donald Trump propagated during the final weeks of his presidency.
In a 57-page decision, U.S. District Court Judge Beryl Howell asserted that Giuliani had flagrantly neglected her directives to safeguard and provide relevant information regarding Ruby Freeman and Shake Moss, election workers. This violation resulted in a “default” judgment being rendered against him. In addition, she demanded that he compensate Freeman and Moss with “punitive” penalties for not meeting his obligations.
The aforementioned judgment indicates that the case will proceed to trial solely for the purpose of determining the precise monetary compensation Giuliani will be required to pay to the two election employees.
“Just as taking shortcuts to win an election carries risks — even potential criminal liability — bypassing the discovery process carries serious sanctions,” Howell wrote.
Giuliani persistently accused Freeman and Moss of ballot manipulation in Georgia during the vote-counting phase following the 2020 election. Numerous investigations, however, consistently refuted and discredited these claims.
The persecution suffered by Freeman and Moss as a result of their conspiracy theories is a significant element of the criminal charges facing a number of Trump’s co-defendants in the Georgia racketeering case initiated by Fulton County prosecutors.
Giuliani is facing charges in the aforementioned case, primarily as a result of his dissemination of false information to Georgia legislators regarding his criticism of Freeman and Moss. In addition, he faces legal accusations related to his position as President Trump’s legal counsel following the 2020 presidential election. During this time period, he led a campaign intended at sowing doubt about the election results and amplifying unfounded allegations of electoral misconduct. This effort was intended to bolster President Trump’s legal efforts to contest and invalidate the election results.
Freeman and Moss filed a lawsuit against Giuliani in a federal court in Washington in 2021, which resulted in Howell’s verdict. The complaint asserts defamation, civil conspiracy, and intentional infliction of mental distress. The presiding judge, Howell, has issued an order to submit the question of damages to a jury for consideration.
The precise amount of monetary damages that the parties engaged in the trial will seek remains unknown. Individuals may seek reparation for injury to their reputations and other associated adversities, as well as punitive damages, which in certain instances may exceed the amount awarded for direct damages. Giuliani’s subsequent actions could have an impact on the final result.