Why Rudy Giuliani lost the defamation suit filed by Georgia election workers

Aug 30, 2023, 1:20pm EDT
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo
politicsNorth America
J.D. Capelouto/

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani is liable for defaming two Georgia election workers after he falsely accused them of committing election fraud following the 2020 election, a federal judge determined Wednesday.

Giuliani lost the case brought by Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss because he failed to respond to requests to turn over electronic records, and paid only "lip service" to court orders, the judge's ruling noted. In her 57-page order, she says Giuliani donned a "cloak of victimization" and produced "blobs of indecipherable data" to the court. The judge's order is "scathing, to say the least," Lawfare's Anna Bower said.1

Giuliani's failure to turn over discovery documents and financial information was "so severe" that in deciding damages, a jury will be instructed to assume that Giuliani is trying to hide information about his financials in an attempt to deflate his net worth, legal analyst Lisa Rubin pointed out.2

Giuliani previously acknowledged in a legal filing that he made defamatory statements against Moss and Freeman, a mother-daughter duo, but wanted to argue that it was protected speech.3 The pair got numerous threats and were central to the criminal indictment filed in Fulton County against former President Donald Trump and Giuliani, since Trump allies allegedly pressured them to falsely admit to voter fraud.4

Giuliani is already "staring down hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal bills" related to his work defending Trump after the 2020 election.5 In this case, he'll have to pay $132,000 in legal fees, plus whatever a jury awards for damages.6 Trump is headlining a fundraiser for his former lawyer next week that costs $100,000 per person to attend.7