On Wednesday, a federal judge rendered a verdict stating that Rudy Giuliani bears legal responsibility for defaming two Georgia election workers. These individuals were targeted by conspiracy theories pertaining to the 2020 election, which were further propagated by Donald Trump during the concluding weeks of his presidency.
In a comprehensive and meticulous 57-page decision, U.S. District Court Judge Beryl Howell asserted that Giuliani had blatantly disregarded her directives to safeguard and furnish pertinent information pertaining to the election workers, Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss. Consequently, this transgression led to a “default” judgment being rendered against him. Additionally, she mandated that he compensate Freeman and Moss with “punitive” penalties due to his failure to meet his commitments.
The aforementioned judgement signifies that the matter will progress to a trial only for the purpose of ascertaining the specific monetary compensation that Giuliani will be obligated to provide to the two election workers.
“Just as taking shortcuts to win an election carries risks — even potential criminal liability — bypassing the discovery process carries serious sanctions,” Howell wrote.
Giuliani persistently levied allegations against Freeman and Moss, asserting their involvement in ballot manipulation during the vote-counting phase in Georgia subsequent to the 2020 election. These claims, however, were consistently refuted and disproved through many investigations.
The persecution experienced by Freeman and Moss due to these conspiracy beliefs constitutes a significant aspect of the criminal allegations currently being faced by a number of Trump’s co-defendants in the Georgia racketeering case initiated by Fulton County prosecutors.
Giuliani is facing charges in the aforementioned case, mostly due to his dissemination of inaccurate information to Georgia legislators over his criticisms of Freeman and Moss. Additionally, he is confronted with legal accusations pertaining to his position as President Trump’s legal representative subsequent to the 2020 election. During this period, he spearheaded a campaign aimed at instilling uncertainty regarding the election outcomes and amplifying unsubstantiated allegations of electoral misconduct. The objective of this endeavor was to fortify President Trump’s legal endeavors to challenge and invalidate the election results.
The verdict rendered by Howell is connected to a legal case initiated by Freeman and Moss in 2021, whereby they filed a complaint against Giuliani in a federal court in Washington. The lawsuit alleges claims of defamation, civil conspiracy, and intentional infliction of mental distress. The presiding judge, Howell, has issued an order for the question regarding damages to be submitted to a jury for consideration.
The exact amount of monetary damages that will be pursued by the individuals involved in the trial remains uncertain. Individuals have the opportunity to seek reparation for the harm inflicted against their reputations and other associated adversities, alongside the possibility of punitive damages, which in certain instances may surpass the amount awarded for direct damages. The overall outcome could be impacted by the subsequent actions undertaken by Giuliani.