Rudy Giuliani, the longtime ally to former President Donald Trump and former mayor of New York City, is facing what it seems likely will be significant financial penalties amid a challenge from two former election workers in Georgia over alleged defamation.
Those individuals are Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss, a mother and daughter who Giuliani and others targeted after the 2020 election with brazenly false conspiracy theories that alleged their involvement in imaginary fraud. Georgia state authorities recently announced the unsurprising conclusion of an investigation into fraud claims that implicated the women, finding there was nothing to the allegations. The longstanding lack of substance, though, hasn’t stopped even Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) from promoting false conspiracy theories about supposed suitcases of ballots during very recent proceedings in Congress. It’s all nonsense, though!
Giuliani’s looming financial penalties don’t actually relate to a final judgment in the case but are instead positioned to cover his failure to comply with basic expectations of providing evidence for the other side’s review, as is routine — and as Giuliani should be familiar with, considering his past experience as a U.S. prosecutor. Well-known federal Judge Beryl Howell, who is handling this dispute over Rudy’s handling of evidence, already outlined how Giuliani’s treatment of the other side’s push for evidence was entirely too limited, involving for instance what she described as a manual search of his text messages — eventually followed by the sudden production of thousands of pages of evidence.
The sanctions on Giuliani to which Howell agreed were set to involve forcing Rudy to pay legal costs incurred on the plaintiffs’ side in these stages of the dispute, and the other side has now produced a bill, though it still needs the judge’s input. The legal team for Freeman and Moss is seeking $89,000.
It’s humiliation after humiliation for this corner of GOP politics, considering it was very recent that a federal appeals court generally upheld financial penalties against a coterie of pro-Trump lawyers including Sidney Powell that stemmed from a failed lawsuit challenging the 2020 results in Michigan. The costs imposed on Powell and other lawyers under the terms of the appeals court’s decisions are at roughly $152,000. Lin Wood, who’s abruptly announced his retirement from law, was also implicated in some of those financial consequences for that case.