Rudy Giuliani Now Heading To Trial After Judge Holds Him Liable For Defamation

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On Wednesday, federal Judge Beryl Howell issued a default judgment against longtime Trump ally Rudy Giuliani in a defamation case from two former election workers in the Atlanta area, mother and daughter Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss.

The two were infamously implicated in debunked conspiracy theories from Giuliani and others in Trump’s corner — including the former president himself, even after leaving office. Freeman and Moss were baselessly accused of involvement in systematic election fraud.

Now, amid tumult surrounding Giuliani’s evident failure to comply with the discovery process, which is a routine portion of proceedings during which both sides can collect information relevant to the case, Howell has issued default judgment. The situation broadly mirrors what also befell far-right commentator Alex Jones, who faced several default judgments across court cases that challenged false conspiracy theories he helped propagate about the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012. Jones went to trial just to cover the question of the level of financial penalties to impose upon him — and now, Giuliani is facing the same outcome, absent any dramatic intervention.

Howell has directed the submission of possible dates for trial proceedings to cover the level of financial damages, setting a general timeframe for these proceedings from November 2023 to February 2024. Giuliani also remains under other financial penalties totaling over $100,000, a large portion of which was already due. Covering legal costs for Freeman and Moss associated with an earlier motion to compel discovery, Giuliani was supposed to pay $89,172.50 by July 25. Alongside that amount is an additional $43,684 in costs for Giuliani, though the latter sum is technically required from his personal businesses. That additional amount will start having interest added towards the end of next month in the absence of payment from the former Trump lawyer-turned-co-defendant in Donald Trump’s Georgia criminal case alleging a vast conspiracy targeting the state’s election results from 2020.