Dec. 23 (Reuters) – Two Georgia election officials, targeted by conspiracy theories, sued the far-right One America News Network, its top executives, and former President Donald Trump’s ex-attorney Rudy Giuliani for allegedly spreading lies You.

The defamation lawsuit was filed Thursday in federal court in Washington, DC, by Wandrea “Shaye” Moss, a voter registrar in Fulton County, and her mother, Ruby Freeman, who was a temporary worker for the 2020 election.

The lawsuit is directed against Herring Networks, based in San Diego, which owns and operates One America News Network, as well as the broadcaster’s CEO Robert Herring, President Charles Herring and reporter Chanel Rion.

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Giuliani, Trump’s former personal lawyer, was also named as a defendant. Giuliani appeared frequently on OAN programs and was one of the biggest proponents of Trump’s false claims that electoral fraud cost him the 2020 elections.

The complaint alleges that OAN broadcast stories falsely accusing Moss and Freeman of conspiracy to produce secret piles of illegal ballot papers and run them through voting machines to help then-candidate Joe Biden defeat Trump.

There is no evidence to support such allegations, which have been repeatedly debunked by Georgian election officials.

In a brief interview, OAN chief Robert Herring Sr. Reuters said he was not concerned about the lawsuit and that his network had done nothing wrong.

“I know all about it and I’m laughing,” he said of the lawsuit. “I laugh at the four or five others who are suing me. At some point it will turn them on and go in the other direction. “

Charles Herring, Rion and Giuliani did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The defamation lawsuit is the second this month by Moss and Freeman, who also sued the Gateway Pundit, claiming the unfounded reports from the far-right website incited death threats and harassment against them for months.

The gateway pundit did not immediately respond to an email sent through its website to leave a comment.

In addition to removing reports of Freeman and Moss from the OAN websites and other media outlets, the lawsuit seeks damages and punitive damages.

The lawsuits against OAN and Gateway Pundit both revolve around false allegations first made by a volunteer Trump campaign attorney at a Georgia state lawmaker hearing on December 3rd. Freeman and Moss worked in the heavily Democratic Fulton County, which includes Atlanta, where a strong performance from Biden helped the Democrat to a narrow victory in Georgia.

Trump, a Republican, and his assistants used a surveillance video of the state farm arena vote count to falsely accuse Freeman and Moss of processing “suitcases” full of false ballots for Biden late at night on election day, November 3, 2020 most of the election workers and observers have left.

According to the complaint, Giuliani “then reinforced the video by posting it on social media,” while “OAN, its hosts and staff” took up Giuliani’s claims and “published it to millions of its viewers and readers.”

State officials, including Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, swiftly and vigorously denied the allegations, stating that the “suitcases” were ordinary ballot boxes and that the votes were properly counted under the supervision of an independent observer and state investigator.

Giuliani has falsely claimed that the footage shows the two women engaging in “clandestine illegal activities” and behaving suspiciously, such as drug dealers “distributing dope”.

In early January, Trump himself named Freeman 18 times in a phone call urging Georgia officials to change the state’s results. He described Freeman as a “well-known political agent” who “crammed the ballot boxes”.

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Reporting by Nathan Layne in Wilton, Connecticut; Additional coverage from John Shiffman in Washington; Editing by Daniel Wallis

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