Giuliani may have again defamed Georgia election workers in comments to reporters after trial, judge says

Top line

Former Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani faces up to $43 million in fines in a defamation trial that began Monday — but he could face even more legal trouble after the former mayor repeated his defamatory claims in comments to reporters outside of the court doubled.

Rudy Giuliani speaks to the press as he leaves the U.S. District Court E. Barrett Prettyman … [+] December 11 in Washington, DC

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Important facts

Giuliani is on trial for making defamatory statements against Georgia poll workers Ruby Freeman and Wandrea “Shaye” Moss, as Giuliani spread false conspiracy theories linking the poll workers to 2020 voter fraud.

The lawyer has already been found liable for defamation – the trial will decide how much damages he must pay – and admitted in a pre-trial hearing that he had made defamatory statements. His lawyer, Joe Sibley, said in court Monday that Freeman and Moss were “good people” who were clearly hurt by Giuliani's statements.

Giuliani told reporters after the trial ended Monday that he stands by his claims of attacking election workers, but said he “of course” doesn't regret his comments about Freeman and Moss, claiming, “If I testify, you will.” will know the whole story and it will definitely be clear that what I said is true.”

In a court filing overnight, Freeman and Moss pointed to Giuliani's new comments and argued that for the attorney to repeat those claims when taking the stand would “constitute a clear violation of the court's prior orders in this case.” “, which made clear Giuliani's comments were false and urged the court to warn Giuliani about his actions.

U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell, who is overseeing the case, admonished Giuliani and Sibley in court on Tuesday, multiple media outlets reported. She questioned how Sibley could reconcile Giuliani's statements with what he argued in court on Monday, and suggested that Giuliani's false statements could amplify “another defamation charge.”

Sibley said he was “not sure how that's reconcilable,” as quoted by Politico, pointing out that he had more control over Giuliani's behavior inside the courtroom than outside.

Surprising fact

Sibley claimed Giuliani's age may have been a factor in him telling reporters the opposite of what his lawyer said in court, telling Howell: “That weighed heavily on him.” He is almost 80 years old. The judge responded by pointing out that Giuliani appeared to have had no difficulty following Monday's court proceedings or answering questions, although Politico reports that she speculated about how he would be able to follow instructions when he took the witness stand enters.

What you should pay attention to

Giuliani's trial, which began Monday, is expected to last just four days and conclude by the end of the week. It is unclear exactly when Giuliani will take the stand in the trial, but he is expected to testify. The case is a civil case, meaning Giuliani will only face monetary damages and will not face criminal charges over the claims he made to poll workers. Freeman and Moss are demanding that Giuliani pay between $15.5 million and $43 million in damages. However, Sibley said Monday that Giuliani is facing financial problems because of his legal troubles, which would amount to a “death penalty” for the former mayor. Paying the amount demanded by the plaintiffs “would be the end of Mr. Giuliani,” his lawyer claimed in court.

Important background

Freeman and Moss sued Giuliani in December 2021 over his claims related to the poll workers, which included false accusations that the women tried to “rigge” the election for President Joe Biden and a video showing USB ports, which Giuliani claimed was evidence of voter fraud. (Moss has said that they actually shared a ginger mint.) The plaintiffs claim Giuliani's statements and efforts to spread the conspiracy theory caused them significant harm and emotional distress, with Moss testifying on Tuesday that when they were told by learned about the false allegations against her, “Everything has just been turned upside down.” “It's hurtful. This is untrue and unfair,” Moss said of Giuliani’s claims. Howell found Giuliani liable for defamation in August and condemned him before trial as punishment for refusing to turn over evidence in the case. Although Giuliani admitted in court filings that he had made defamatory statements against the poll workers, he still claimed he had not committed defamation – a legal argument that Howell said had “more holes than Swiss cheese” – and his spokesman Ted Goodman reported Forbes in August about the case was “part of a larger effort to denigrate and silence Mayor Giuliani for daring to ask questions and for challenging the accepted narrative.”


The Georgia election case is part of a series of legal consequences Giuliani is facing as a result of his work as an attorney for the Trump campaign in its efforts to overturn the 2020 election. Giuliani is also being sued for defamation by voting machine makers Smartmatic and Dominion Voting Systems. His law license has been revoked – and he could be permanently disbarred – and he is being prosecuted in Georgia for his post-election activities in that state. (He has pleaded not guilty to the charge.)

further reading

Giuliani goes on trial today for defamation – here's what to expect (Forbes)

'It will be the end': Giuliani lawyers warn election defamation payouts could financially ruin ex-Trump adviser (Forbes)

Rudy Giuliani Liable for Defaming Georgia Election Workers, Court Rules (Forbes)

Rudy Giuliani's Growing Legal Troubles: Here Are All the Issues Trump's Lawyer Faces in Hunter Biden Lawsuit (Forbes)

Rudy Giuliani's Financial Problems Deepen as IRS Takes Action – Here's What We Know (Forbes)