Decision by Jury on Giuliani’s Compensation for Defamation of Election Workers

by Chloe Baker
Giuliani defamation trial

On Monday, Rudy Giuliani appeared at the federal courthouse in Washington for a trial that will establish the financial penalty he may face for defaming two Georgia election workers. Giuliani had falsely implicated them in election fraud during his efforts to support Donald Trump’s unsubstantiated allegations following the 2020 presidential election.

Giuliani, the ex-Mayor of New York City, is already deemed responsible in the defamation case initiated by Ruby Freeman and her daughter, Wandrea “Shaye” Moss. The duo faced threats and harassment as a result of being falsely associated with a conspiracy theory circulated by Trump and his allies. The trial, commencing with the selection of a jury, will focus solely on determining the monetary damages Giuliani is obligated to pay.

This lawsuit is one of several legal and financial challenges confronting Giuliani, who gained fame as “America’s mayor” post-9/11 and later emerged as a leading advocate of Trump’s unfounded claims of election fraud. Giuliani also faces criminal charges in Georgia, alongside Trump and others, for allegedly attempting to illegally overturn the election results. He has entered a plea of not guilty, asserting his right to question what he believed to be election fraud.

Giuliani’s troubles extend beyond this case. He was recently sued by a former attorney over an unpaid legal bill of approximately $1.6 million, related to his efforts to maintain Trump’s presidency. The judge in the election workers’ lawsuit has also mandated Giuliani and his businesses to pay substantial legal fees.

Moss, who has been part of Fulton County’s elections department since 2012, managed the absentee ballot process in the 2020 election. Freeman was a temporary worker, handling absentee ballot signature verification and preparation for counting.

Giuliani, among other supporters of Trump, promoted a baseless conspiracy theory using surveillance footage, falsely alleging that Freeman and Moss extracted fraudulent ballots from suitcases. These allegations were swiftly refuted by Georgia’s election officials, who found no evidence of improper ballot counting.

The spurious accusations led to Freeman and Moss experiencing a deluge of violent threats and harassment. Freeman was forced to vacate her home for over two months, and Moss shared in a testimony to the U.S. House Committee investigating the Capitol attack, the extent of threatening and racist messages she received.

In a ruling in August, U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell held Giuliani accountable, criticizing his superficial compliance with legal requirements and his failure to provide requested information to Freeman and Moss. In October, the judge accused Giuliani of blatantly ignoring an order to disclose details about his personal and business assets, indicating that jurors in the damages trial should infer intentional concealment of financial documents to underestimate his net worth.

Giuliani admitted in July to making public statements falsely accusing Freeman and Moss of fraud during the ballot counting at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, but argued that his statements were protected under the First Amendment.

[Reported by Richer from Boston, with contributions from AP Video journalist Nathan Ellgren in Washington.]

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Giuliani defamation trial

What is the purpose of Rudy Giuliani’s trial in Washington?

The trial is to determine the amount of damages Giuliani must pay for defaming two Georgia election workers by falsely accusing them of election fraud.

Who are the plaintiffs in the defamation lawsuit against Giuliani?

Ruby Freeman and her daughter, Wandrea “Shaye” Moss, are the plaintiffs who brought the defamation lawsuit against Giuliani.

What are some of Giuliani’s other legal and financial challenges?

Apart from this defamation case, Giuliani faces criminal charges in Georgia for trying to overturn election results, and he is sued by a former lawyer for unpaid legal fees.

How were the election workers affected by Giuliani’s false claims?

The false claims led to Freeman and Moss facing threats and harassment, with Freeman having to leave her home for over two months.

What did Giuliani concede regarding his statements about the election workers?

Giuliani admitted he falsely claimed Freeman and Moss committed fraud during ballot counting, but argued his statements were protected by the First Amendment.

More about Giuliani defamation trial

  • Rudy Giuliani’s Defamation Case
  • Giuliani’s Legal Troubles
  • Impact on Election Workers
  • Giuliani’s Admission in Court
  • First Amendment Defense in Giuliani’s Case

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TommyG December 11, 2023 - 6:48 pm

these legal fees must be huge, heard he’s also got unpaid bills from his own lawyers? thats crazy.

Julie_Anne December 11, 2023 - 8:34 pm

First amendment defense, really? seems like a weak argument for spreading false information about election fraud.

Dave Johnson December 12, 2023 - 1:12 am

wow, Giuliani really in hot water here, guess all those false claims catching up to him now.

Markus98 December 12, 2023 - 2:38 am

Giuliani used to be “America’s Mayor” now look at him, involved in all these legal battles, really shows how things can change.

Samantha K December 12, 2023 - 10:31 am

Its about time these election workers got some justice. can’t believe what they had to go through because of lies.


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