(USNewsMag.com) – On Aug. 30, a federal judge ruled in favor of two Georgia election employees by default in their defamation lawsuit against Rudy Giuliani.
In December 2021, Georgia election workers Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss sued former New York City Mayor Giuliani for defamation over statements that the two had committed election fraud. Giuliani claimed that the mother-daughter team of Freeman and Moss, who worked in Atlanta at the State Farm Arena, processed “suitcases” full of fraudulent ballots.
In previous statements, Giuliani has said that the statements he made about Freeman and Moss were “constitutionally protected.”
Giuliani was found to be civilly liable by default for defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress on the employees, and civil conspiracy.
In her 57-page opinion, U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell ruled by default against Giuliani after he resisted turning over documents that were requested in two subpoenas. In the ruling, Howell accused Giuliani of skirting the rules of discovery. The ruling suggests he might have done this to reduce legal exposure in his other cases.
Giuliani stated that his ability to access the required document was hindered by the FBI seizing his electronic devices years ago.
Ted Goodman, who is Giuliani’s political adviser, called Howell’s decision “a prime example of the weaponization of our justice system.”
In order to reimburse Freeman and Moss for their legal fees incurred, Giuliani was ordered to pay almost $90,000, and his businesses were ordered to pay more than $43,000.
Howell’s ruling allows Giuliani one last opportunity to turn over the documents for the trial that will consider damages. Howell also asked that both parties file briefs regarding the next steps in the case. The trial is set to be held either later this year or in early 2024.
Giuliani was also indicted along with former President Donald Trump and 17 other co-defendants in Fulton County, Georgia, for efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election. Giuliani pleaded not guilty and was released on bond.
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