rudy giuliani trial to begin over lies about georgia election workers

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Rudy Giuliani will go to trial Monday where a jury could decide if he must pay tens of millions of dollars in damages to two Georgia election workers he repeatedly defamed.

The attorney has already been found liable for defaming mother and daughter Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss in the aftermath of Donald Trump’s electoral loss to Joe Biden. But he will stand trial beginning Monday to determine how much he may have to pay the two Georgia election workers.

Giuliani conceded in July that he had lied about Freeman and Moss while he was acting as an attorney for Trump, saying his statements were “actionable” and “false” in an attempt to stem a crush of legal bills related to the case. The pair sued the lawyer in federal court in 2021, alleging Giuliani repeatedly spread conspiracy theories that they had brought in illegal ballots while counting votes in 2020, as well as a flash drive used to alter digital tabulation machines. But he did not say at the time the lies had caused any damage to the pair and claimed the statements were protected under the First Amendment.

While those claims were repeatedly proven to be lies, they quickly spread through the Trump orbit, with the former president himself calling Freeman a “professional voter scammer” in a call with Georgia’s secretary of state in 2021.

Rudy Giuliani speaks outside the Fulton County jail, on Aug. 23, 2023, in Atlanta. ()

Rudy Giuliani speaks outside the Fulton County jail, on Aug. 23, 2023, in Atlanta. ()
AP Photo/Brynn Anderson

Freeman testified last year that both she and her daughter had endured severe abuse stemming from Giuliani’s falsehoods, including death threats that forced them into hiding at times.

“I’ve lost my name and I’ve lost my reputation,” she told lawmakers. “Do you know how it feels to have the president of the United States target you?”

“I’ve lost my sense of security — all because a group of people, starting with Number 45 and his ally Rudy Giuliani, decided to scapegoat me and my daughter, Shaye, to push their own lies about how the presidential election was stolen,” she added.

Attorneys for Freeman and Moss intend to ask the jury for between $15.5 million and $43 million in damages. That total does not include any punitive damages the jury could award, or those for intentional inflection of emotional distress, according to The New York Times. Giuliani has already been ordered to pay the womens’ legal fees.

Fulton County, Georgia, election workers, Ruby Freeman (L) and daughter Shaye Moss attend an event on the second anniversary of the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, 2023.

Fulton County, Georgia, election workers, Ruby Freeman (L) and daughter Shaye Moss attend an event on the second anniversary of the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, 2023.
MANDEL NGAN via Getty Images

Jury selection begins Monday before an expected three days of testimony. Giuliani and the two women are set to testify as the trial continues through the week.

Giuliani has faced a maelstrom of legal woes over his work to dispute the 2020 presidential election results. He was indicted in Georgia alongside Trump and 17 other defendants as part of the state’s racketeering case linked to efforts to overturn the 2020 results.

And was recently sued by his own former attorneys, who claim Giuliani owes them nearly $1.4 million in unpaid legal fees.

The judge overseeing the case issued a warning to Giuliani’s team last week after he skipped a court hearing she had ordered him to be at.

“How could you have missed that?” Judge Beryl Howell asked his attorneys.

“It sets the tone, doesn’t it, for the whole case,” she added.

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