Giuliani is ordered to pay $148 million to Georgia election workers he defamed

Giuliani’s $148 Million Verdict: Fallout from Election Lies

Last Updated: 16 December 2023By Tags: ,

Legal Storm for Giuliani: A $148 Million Verdict and the Fallout of Election Lies

In a stunning turn of events, former Trump campaign attorney Rudy Giuliani has been ordered to pay a whopping $148 million to two Georgia election workers he defamed with baseless claims after the 2020 election. The conclusion of a week-long federal civil trial shed light on the harrowing consequences faced by the workers, Wandrea “Shaye” Moss and her mother Ruby Freeman, whose lives were upended by Giuliani’s and former President Donald Trump’s unfounded conspiracy theories.

The trial, held in Washington, D.C., saw Moss recounting her fear for her life, expressing a chilling belief that someone might attempt to harm her. Giuliani’s massive platform as a campaign attorney amplified false narratives, leading to violent and racist voicemails targeting the women.

Giuliani, sharing a video he claimed depicted fraudulent actions by Moss and Freeman in a Georgia ballot counting facility, falsely alleged wrongdoing. However, a hand-count audit in Georgia verified the election’s accuracy, and a lengthy investigation by the Georgia secretary of state’s office debunked the accusations against the two women as “false and unsubstantiated.”

In August, District Judge Beryl Howell held Giuliani liable for defamation, prompting him to concede that his statements were false. The recent trial focused on determining the damages owed to Moss and Freeman. Speaking after the verdict, Freeman emphasized that no amount of money could restore her past life or reputation, echoing Moss’s sentiment that their greatest wish is that no one else experiences the turmoil they endured.

Giuliani, dismissing the jury’s award as “absurd,” hinted at a potential appeal. However, this legal setback is not his only concern; Giuliani faces over a dozen charges in a racketeering investigation related to his efforts to influence Georgia’s 2020 election.

Throughout the trial, the impact of election lies on Moss and Freeman was vividly illustrated. An expert witness estimated that these falsehoods reached tens of millions, and a strategic communications campaign to repair their reputations could cost up to $47.4 million. Freeman, overcome with emotion, described leaving her home under FBI advisement due to threats on her life. The psychological toll was evident as she expressed feeling uncomfortable introducing herself to anyone, emphasizing the profound impact on her life.

Giuliani’s defense argued that while he spread falsehoods, others did too, attempting to dilute his responsibility. Despite Giuliani’s continued lies during the trial, he declined to testify. The ruling signifies a significant legal blow, emphasizing the real-world consequences of spreading baseless claims, even for high-profile figures like Giuliani.