Georgia election officials argue Giuliani's 8 million judgment in bankruptcy cannot be dismissed

Georgia election officials who won a $148 million verdict in a defamation case against Rudy Giuliani filed suit in Giuliani's bankruptcy case on Friday, arguing that his debts to them could not be forgiven in the event of bankruptcy.

Election officials Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss are represented by attorneys from Willkie Farr & Gallagher, Dubose Miller and the nonprofit organization United to Protect Democracy.

“Mr. Giuliani cannot rely on bankruptcy to escape responsibility for his actions,” the lawyers argued in Friday's complaint.

The motion was filed three days after U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Sean H. Lane ruled that Giuliani can appeal the judgment as long as related costs are not paid by Giuliani or his estate. Whoever pays those costs “will have no claim against the debtor or his estate and may not seek reimbursement of those amounts from them” and must obtain Lane's approval by court order before paying such fees, Lane ordered.

The former mayor of New York City and U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in December, one day after U.S. District Judge for the District of Columbia Beryl A. Howell ordered immediate payment of the $148 million judgment in the election worker case.

In his bankruptcy filing, Giuliani had his bankruptcy attorneys at Berger, Fischoff, Shumer, Wexler & Goodman declare that he had debts related to “lawsuits” and listed as creditors the plaintiffs in a large number of cases, including Freeman and Moss.

Freeman and Moss's lawyers urged Lane to find that the $148 million judgment was a debt for “willful and malicious injury” that could not be discharged under Section 523(a)(6) of the Bankruptcy Code.

“All of the facts necessary to reach that conclusion have already been decided – and even admitted – by Mr. Giuliani's omissions at the Freeman trial and then again after the damages trial when Mr. Giuliani admitted those points, calling the conduct, among other things, 'intentional, malicious, wanton and wilful,' in a declaratory judgment that the court incorporated into the Freeman judgment,” they wrote.

They argued that since the defamation trial began, Giuliani had “treated the legal process and its rules as something that did not apply to him.”

“He is wrong,” they wrote. “Intentionally and maliciously harming others has consequences. Mr. Giuliani cannot hide behind his bankruptcy to avoid those consequences and responsibility for the devastating impact of his actions.”

The lawyers laid out the facts of the election workers' case, claiming that Giuliani continued to accuse the women of election fraud even after the bankruptcy filing.

“Plaintiffs here summarize the relevant facts to provide background for the claims at issue in this adversarial proceeding,” they wrote. “However, all of the material facts necessary to establish that Mr. Giuliani's debts to Plaintiffs are not dischargeable were conclusively resolved in the Freeman trial.”