Rudy Giuliani is blamed for defaming Georgia election workers

Rudy Giuliani speaks outside the Fulton County Jail in Atlanta on Wednesday, August 23, 2023.

Brynn Anderson | AP

Howell criticized Giuliani for “willful … misconduct” and “sensitive” statements for failing to release requested information through the legal process known as disclosure.

“The bottom line is that Giuliani has refused to comply with his disclosure obligations and has frustrated the procedural rights of plaintiffs Ruby Freeman and Wandrea' ArShaye Moss to obtain meaningful discovery in this case,” Howell wrote in a 57-page opinion, which acknowledges Giuliani's recent statement criminal charges against former President Donald Trump in Georgia.

The judge also ordered lawyers for Giuliani and the two women to propose three possible dates for the trial in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., on how much money in compensatory and punitive damages he should pay them as a result must be the default judgment.

Ted Goodman, a political adviser to Giuliani, said in a statement: “This 57-page disclosure statement – which typically runs no more than two or three pages – is a prime example of the weaponization of the justice system where the process is.” Penalty.”

“This decision should be reversed because Mayor Giuliani is being wrongly accused of failing to preserve electronic evidence seized and preserved by the FBI,” Goodman said.

Lawyers for Freeman and Moss, mother and daughter, released a statement from the women.

“What we went through after the 2020 election was a living nightmare. Rudy Giuliani helped unleash a wave of hate and threats we could never have imagined. It cost us our sense of security and our freedom to go about our lives,” the woman said.

“Nothing can restore everything we have lost, but today’s verdict is another neutral finding that confirms what we have known all along: that there was no truth to any of the allegations against us and that we did nothing wrong.” said the woman. “We have been vilified for purely political reasons, and those responsible can and should be held accountable.”

“The fight to restore our reputation and repair the damage to our lives is not over. But today we are one step closer, and we are grateful for that.”

Freeman told a House special committee last year: “I have lost my name and my reputation” because Giuliani made false claims about her handling of votes while representing Trump.

Trump himself had repeatedly mentioned Freeman by name in a January 2021 phone call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, in which the then-president pressured the official to “find” Trump enough votes to overturn his election loss in the state.

“Do you know what it feels like to have the President of the United States target you?” Freeman asked during her testimony.

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Giuliani was indicted two weeks ago, along with Trump and 17 co-defendants, by a grand jury in Atlanta on charges related to an alleged conspiracy to illegally hand Trump's 2020 defeat to President Joe Biden in Georgia.

This indictment details an attempt by Trump, Giuliani and others to cast doubt on the legitimacy of Biden's victory in Georgia, which included false claims about the work of Freeman and Moss.

Giuliani, a former federal prosecutor, had said at a hearing in the Georgia Senate, among other things, that Freeman and Moss had given each other USB sticks like “vials of heroin or cocaine” in order to cheat Trump out of an election victory.

Moss later told Congress that the items were actually candy.

The women sued Giuliani in 2021 for defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress and civil conspiracy.

Giuliani acknowledged in a court filing last month for the purposes of the lawsuit that he made “false” statements about the women that were “per se defamatory.”

In her scathing statement Tuesday, Howell explained why monetary sanctions were necessary because Giuliani had failed to comply with discovery requests in the case.

The judge wrote, “As a result of Giuliani's discovery conduct, Plaintiffs filed two motions to compel the production of Giuliani and his eponymous companies, Giuliani Communications LLC and Giuliani Partners LLC,” resulting in two hearings on those motions and Howell filing multiple hearings comply with investigative requests requested to do so.

“The result of this effort to obtain discovery from Giuliani, aside from his initial production of 193 documents, consists largely of a single page of communications, chunks of indecipherable data, a fraction of the financial documents that were required to be produced, and a statement and two.” “Provisions by Giuliani, who in the latter provisions expresses his preference in this case to concede plaintiffs' claims rather than take an evidentiary hearing,” Howell wrote.

The judge wrote that in response to disclosure demands, Giuliani made “stipulations” that “have more holes in them than Swiss cheese,” although in the most recent deposition he “expressly reserves his argument” that the statements he made about the woman have, are legally protected and cannot be challenged “for appeal purposes”.

Howell mentioned Giuliani's efforts to overturn Trump's 2020 election loss as she dismissed it as a legitimate excuse not to release all the information the women sought.

“Just as bypassing a shortcut to win an election carries risks – even potential criminal liability – bypassing the investigative process carries serious sanctions, regardless of what caveats a noncompliant party attempts to artificially maintain on appeal,” the judge wrote .

“Given Giuliani’s willful rejection of his disclosure obligations leading up to and during this litigation, Giuliani has little choice,” Howell wrote. “For the reasons set out below, the pending application [for sanctions] is granted. A default judgment will be entered against Giuliani as a disclosure penalty.”

She ordered Giuliani to personally pay the women $89,172.50 to reimburse them for attorneys' fees and costs associated with their successful initial motion to compel production of this evidence.

Howell also ordered Giuliani to force two of his companies to pay the women an additional $43,684 for the same conduct.