The jury orders Giuliani to pay Georgia election workers $148 million

(Patrick Semansky/Associated Press)

The jury orders Giuliani to pay Georgia election workers $148 million

Sarah D. Wire

Dec. 15, 2023

A jury


Washington, DC, has ordered former Trump campaign lawyer Rudolph Giuliani to pay $148 million to two former election workers in Georgia who were targeted in violent threats


after he

accused them of manipulating ballots in the 2020 election.


Giuliani refused to participate in the pre-trial investigative process, U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell ruled without trial

in August

that was Giuliani


for defamation and that he had been involved in a conspiracy with former President Trump, the Trump campaign, the OAN television network and an OAN personality to defame


Vrijman and

her daughter Shaye

Moss. Earlier this year, Giuliani admitted in a lawsuit that he made false statements about Freeman and Moss.

The only issue the eight-member jury had to decide was the amount of damages


Freeman and Moss

The lawyers each asked for at least $24 million

between $15 million and $43 million


Over four days, jurors heard emotional testimony from Moss and Freeman about how Giulianis repeated false, defamatory statements about them after the 2020 election turned their lives upside down, causing them to change their appearances, homes and jobs in an effort to stem the onslaught of explicit and avoid racist statements. messages they received.

Giuliani repeatedly claimed that the women had tampered with the ballots to change the election results and amplified misleading security footage that he falsely claimed showed them counting the ballots after the process had officially concluded. He also accused both women of passing a USB drive such as vials of cocaine or heroin. The women told jurors that the item in question was a ginger mint.

Moss and Freeman’s attorney Von DuBose played jurors hundreds of the threats Freeman and Moss had received.

DuBose showed jurors a Giuliani ‘strategic communications plan’ calling on Trump and his surrogates to use the claims about Freeman and Moss to support them


attempts to overturn the 2020 election.

On Tuesday, Moss tested for hours how to live with fear and panic from the barrage of threats, including coercion

the people

around her because she didn’t want to hurt them or change her hair color. She

she said

felt like the worst mother in the world when her son failed his classes after receiving hundreds of racist text messages.

Every aspect of my life has changed, Moss said.


told me how

people broke into her grandmother’s house and tried to make a citizen’s arrest


her greatest fear was that her son would come home one day and find his mother and grandmother hanging from a tree in the front yard.

How can someone with so much power go public and talk about things he clearly has no idea about? They are obvious lies, Moss said of Giuliani’s false claims about her and her mother. None of what he said was true.

On Monday, Giuliani told reporters on the courthouse steps that he had no regrets for his actions

d again wrongly claimed

Moss and Freeman rigged the votes

were rigged

. The judge scolded him the next day, saying the comments could support a new claim of defamation by election workers.

Giuliani told reporters earlier this week


When I testify, the whole story will be absolutely clear that what I said was true, and that no matter what happened to them, which is unfortunate that other people overreacted, everything I said about them is true.

But in the end he didn’t testify



although h

e was the only scheduled witness for the defense.


attorney Joe Sibley told the jury that he

decided against his client testing

because “these women have been through enough.”

Instead, he urged jurors to show compassion

for Giuliani

and think of the 80 year old former New

York city m

ayor as a unifying figure after September 11.

“Rudy Giuliani should not be defined by what has happened recently,” Sibley said. “This is a man who has done great things. If he hasn’t been great lately, I want you to judge him on the whole character of who he is.”

During closing statements, Moss and Freeman’s attorney Michael Gottlieb rejected that idea.

“Mr. Giuliani’s defense is that his reputation, his comfort and his goals are more important than Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss. That is a fiction and it ends today,” Gottlieb said. He has no right to offer defenseless officials to a virtual crowd to overturn elections. The costs involved [been] imposed on Mrs. Freeman and Mrs. Moss, on everyone he deceived, and on the public’s trust in our democracy



Thought it was

a civil case, it


the first jury trial specifically addressed the Trump campaigns’ 2020 election subversion efforts, rather than the actions of rioters on January 6, 20




The jurors hearing the evidence could provide a preview of the expected state and federal criminal cases

find statistics

in 2024, both of which include costs associated with

Giuliani’s false claims

against the election workers.

Giuliani is believed to be an unindicted co-conspirator in the federal indictment filed by Special Counsel Jack Smith and some of the criminal charges against Giuliani

a separate case was brought in Georgia

stem from his false statements about Freeman and Moss.

Fulton County Dist. Atty.

Fani Willis has also charged three other people as part of a scheme to try this


Freeman falsely confesses to election fraud.


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