A jury has determined that Rudy Giuliani is required to pay $148 million to two election workers in Georgia whom he falsely accused, for defamation.

A jury has determined that Rudy Giuliani is required to pay $148 million to two election workers in Georgia whom he falsely accused, for defamation.

A jury in Washington has ruled that former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani must pay a combined sum of $148 million to two ex-election workers from Georgia. These individuals were targeted by false allegations made by Giuliani following the 2020 US presidential election. The amount awarded is almost $100 million more than what the women had initially requested.

The panel of eight citizens from Washington, D.C. discussed for approximately 10 hours over the course of Thursday and Friday before coming to a conclusion. During the civil case against Giuliani, who worked as former President Trump’s personal attorney during the final days of his term, jurors listened to four days of heartfelt testimony.

Ruby Freeman and her daughter, Wandrea ArShaye “Shaye” Moss, filed a lawsuit against Giuliani for making false accusations that they participated in a fraudulent ballot processing scheme while working as election workers for Fulton County during the previous presidential election.

In a recent case, it was decided that Giuliani had defamed Freeman and Moss. The jury was then responsible for determining the amount of compensatory and punitive damages to be awarded to the mother and daughter. Freeman requested $23.9 million for defamation, while Moss requested $24.7 million.

The panel granted the following:

  • Freeman was awarded $16,171,000 in compensatory damages for defamation.

  • The amount awarded to Moss for compensatory damages due to defamation is $16,998,000.

  • $20 million per person, or a total of $40 million, in restitution for suffering from psychological harm.

  • The total amount of punitive damages awarded is $75 million.

After the court ruling, Giuliani was still unyielding. He addressed the media outside the courthouse, denouncing the threats the women faced after the election as “unacceptable” and “despicable.” Despite this, he maintained his unsupported allegations of voter fraud and declared his intention to challenge the decision.

Giuliani stated that the ridiculousness of the number only highlights the ridiculousness of the entire process. He expressed his belief that when this case is presented before an impartial court, it will be overturned swiftly, and the nonsensical figure that was just presented will assist in this outcome.

The total value of Giuliani’s assets and wealth.

In recent years, the amount has varied. However, it is currently thought to be below the $48.6 million that the women were requesting, as stated by his lawyer earlier this week. – Joe Sibleytold the jury

The mentioned amount of the award would have a similar impact as the death penalty for the client.

is still ongoing

The trial for defamation involving Giuliani is currently in progress.

Rudy Giuliani speaks to reporters outside the federal courthouse in Washington, D.C., on Friday, Dec. 15, 2023.

On Friday, December 15, 2023, Rudy Giuliani addresses reporters outside the federal courthouse in Washington, D.C.

Jose Luis Magana / AP

During the court proceedings, the jury was directly addressed by Freeman and Moss who recounted their fear following their sudden rise to public attention following the 2020 election.

On Tuesday, Moss stated that the team she managed, responsible for processing absentee ballots, including her own mother, did an impeccable job reviewing the votes received at State Farm Arena in Atlanta during the election. Both mother and daughter expressed that their lives were greatly impacted after a conservative website and Giuliani falsely linked them to voter fraud through security camera footage of the ballot processing location.

According to Giuliani, the footage displayed Freeman and Moss placing counterfeit votes in support of Joe Biden and inserting a USB drive into the voting machines. In response, Freeman and Moss reported receiving numerous racist threats. The Georgia secretary of state conducted an investigation and determined that all accusations against Freeman and Moss were baseless and lacked evidence.

Moss expressed that every part of their life has been altered and they are primarily concerned about their child discovering them or their mother hanging outside of their home.

On Wednesday, Freeman tearfully recounted the hateful communications her small business received after being targeted online, including calls, emails, texts, and letters.

One note she received made her feel like she was going to be physically harmed and disposed of outside of her home. She described the experience as feeling terrorized.

“Ruby Freeman, I hope the Federal Government hangs you and your daughter from the Capitol dome you treasonous piece of s***! I pray that I will be sitting close enough to hear your necks snap,” one individual wrote to Freeman in a message to her business. 

Moss was overlooked for a promotion and also missed out on another job opportunity, while Freeman had to shut down her business and sell her home. Both individuals stated that they experienced a sense of losing their personal identities.

Election workers from Fulton County express their thoughts after being granted millions in compensation in the case involving Giuliani.

Giuliani had previously stated that he would give testimony to defend himself and also stated outside of court in the past few days that he had no involvement with the threatening actions. However, he ultimately decided not to testify on Thursday, which was the last day of evidence. He persistently made incorrect statements about the duo, even though he had previously admitted to making false claims about them during the proceedings.

“I stand by my previous statements,” Giuliani stated during a press conference on Monday, confirming that the allegations of vote tampering against the defendants were accurate. The jury was presented with a video of these latest accusations as evidence during the court proceedings.

Beryl Howell, the judge who presided over the case and made the decision in August that Giuliani had defamed Freeman and Moss, expressed worry about the statements made. Sibley, Giuliani’s lawyer, also had apprehensions about them.

During the trial, Sibley chose not to bring forth any witnesses on his behalf. He acknowledged the suffering that the mother and daughter experienced due to his client’s actions and did not dispute it. Instead, he concentrated on the expert witnesses presented by the plaintiffs to determine the amount of damages sought and drew attention to other media sources and individuals who also perpetuated the false information.

The defense attorney stated during closing arguments on Thursday that while Rudy Giuliani is a good person, his actions in recent days have not been beneficial for himself. They also argued that Giuliani should not be judged solely based on his recent actions.

The attorney attributed the primary damage inflicted upon Freeman and Moss to the first website that exposed their identities, the Gateway Pundit. They also presented the jury with a legal case filed by the two individuals against the outlet.

Sibley contended that was how the names were revealed and subsequently became known to everyone.

The lawyers representing the pair argued that including the conspiracy theories in media coverage was a deliberate strategy by the Trump legal team.

During a discussion on Wednesday, Freeman discussed a plan from Giuliani’s team for post-election communications. The plan stated that she would play a significant role in creating doubt about the 2020 election. The plan referred to the video of Freeman at the Fulton County ballot counting facility, accusing her of participating in “ballot stuffing.”

According to her, it was part of the original plan that if President Trump, the 45th leader, did not win, they would have already arranged for this scheme. She mentioned that as per the plan, she would be the one to take the blame.

The jurors were directed to take into account any harm caused by Giuliani’s partners in the effort to defame, which included Trump and other supporters. During questioning, Freeman remembered hearing Trump mention her during a call with the secretary of state of Georgia in January 2021. During the exchange, the ex-president referred to her as a “professional vote scammer.”

“What a cruel person. How malicious. I was completely heartbroken,” Freeman stated. “He had no understanding of the situation.”

One of the two specialists brought in by the plaintiffs stated that the false information spread by Giuliani and his accomplices about Freeman and Moss was viewed by millions on the internet. This justified the need for a costly campaign to repair their damaged reputation, estimated to cost millions of dollars. Giuliani’s lawyer, on the other hand, argued for a lower amount of compensation, claiming that any attempt to restore their reputation would be futile as those who believed Giuliani’s lies would continue to do so regardless.

Robert Legare

Source: cbsnews.com