Rudy Giuliani Hit With $148 Million Judgment Over False 2020 Election Statements

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Giuliani Ordered to Pay $148 Million: A Defamation Verdict Sends Shockwaves

In a historic verdict, a federal jury has ruled that Rudy Giuliani, former Trump attorney and New York mayor, must pay $148 million in damages to two Georgia poll workers, Ruby Freeman and Wandrea ArShaye Moss. The jury found Giuliani guilty of defamation for falsely accusing the election workers of stealing the 2020 election, resulting in significant emotional distress and trauma.

After more than nine hours of deliberation, the panel of five women and three men decided on a penalty that was higher than the $48 million the workers were seeking. This landmark decision marks one of the first major judgments against an individual associated with Donald Trump’s campaign for spreading baseless claims about election fraud, specifically the myth that vote fraud tipped the 2020 election to President Biden.

Giuliani’s actions had serious repercussions, subjecting Freeman and Moss to a barrage of abuse that changed their lives, as highlighted in the defamation lawsuit they filed. The jury awarded the mother and daughter pair $75 million in punitive damages and $73 million in compensatory damages for defamation and emotional distress.

The damages verdict not only marks a significant downfall for Giuliani but also raises questions about the legal repercussions for Trump associates who propagated false narratives post the 2020 election. This verdict puts Giuliani at the forefront of a growing list of Trump advisers and media outlets facing legal consequences for amplifying unfounded election allegations. Earlier in April, Fox News settled a lawsuit with Dominion Voting Systems for almost $780 million over false claims about vote-switching machines.

Despite Giuliani’s defiant stance and his claim that he was not allowed to present evidence in his defense, the jury’s decision underscores the seriousness of the defamation charges. Giuliani’s law license had been previously suspended over his election falsehoods, and this verdict places him in a precarious position, facing a potentially catastrophic penalty.

Giuliani’s role in the broader context of attempts to overturn the election is also significant. He faces criminal charges in Georgia related to efforts to overturn Biden’s victory, and he is described as an uncharged “Co-conspirator 1” in Trump’s federal indictment in Washington for obstruction of the 2020 election.

Giuliani persisted in portraying himself as a victim of a legal system that political opponents had “weaponized,” echoing Trump’s claims. The verdict, however, signals potential challenges for Giuliani in the face of ongoing legal battles, making him one of the first Trump aides to face a jury verdict.

The case illuminated Giuliani’s reckless efforts to overturn the election by promoting false claims about Freeman and Moss. The accusations, proven false by a Georgia Secretary of State investigation, subjected the election workers to racist and vicious attacks, disrupting their lives and causing severe emotional distress. The damages verdict, if upheld, adds to Giuliani’s legal woes, making it a substantial blow to his reputation and potentially marking a turning point in the legal aftermath of the 2020 election.

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