Rudy Giuliani Ordered to Pay $148 Million in Landmark Defamation Trial Against Georgia Election Workers

Rudy Giuliani, the former personal lawyer for former U.S. President Donald Trump, has been ordered to pay $148 million to two Georgia election workers in a defamation trial. Jurors found that Giuliani had caused significant harm to Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss by falsely claiming that they rigged ballots in Georgia during the 2020 presidential election, which Trump lost. The damages awarded included compensatory damages, damages for intentional infliction of emotional distress, and punitive damages. Freeman and Moss each received more than $16 million in compensatory damages, $20 million each for intentional infliction of emotional distress, and $75 million in total for punitive damages.

The trial highlighted the personal consequences of spreading election conspiracy theories. Freeman and Moss testified about the violent threats and harassment they have endured since Giuliani made false claims about their actions during the election. They have had to live in fear, with Freeman recounting a terrifying incident when Trump supporters banged on her door while she received death threats. The jury’s decision to award such a substantial sum is seen as a message to Giuliani and others who spread false information about ordinary people to overturn election results.

Giuliani’s defense in the trial was weak, and he declined to testify. His attorney tried to shift blame to others working for Trump’s campaign and downplay Giuliani’s role in spreading the conspiracy theories. However, the judge ruled that Giuliani’s remarks about Freeman and Moss were defamatory, and the only issue to be decided in the trial was the amount of damages. Giuliani may appeal the decision or seek a lower settlement.

This trial is part of a larger wave of defamation lawsuits filed by individuals and companies targeted by pro-Trump conspiracy theories about the 2020 election. Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic, two election technology companies, have filed multi-billion dollar lawsuits against right-wing media organizations. Giuliani is also named as a defendant in lawsuits related to these conspiracy theories. Additionally, he faces criminal charges in Georgia over his efforts to overturn the state’s election results.

While the $148 million judgment is a significant blow to Giuliani, it may not be his biggest legal problem. He has been indicted by the Fulton County district attorney’s office in Atlanta for his role in the election interference, and he is also named as an unindicted co-conspirator in a case against Trump. Giuliani, once a respected federal prosecutor and mayor of New York City, now faces multiple legal battles and a tarnished reputation.

In conclusion, Rudy Giuliani has been ordered to pay $148 million in damages to two Georgia election workers for defamation. The trial highlighted the personal harm caused by spreading false conspiracy theories, and it is part of a broader wave of lawsuits related to the 2020 election. Giuliani’s legal troubles continue to mount, posing a significant challenge to his reputation and financial future.