Giuliani Facing Possibly Tens Of Millions Of Dollars In Damages For Ruby Freeman & Shaye Moss

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This week, federal Judge Beryl Howell issued a default judgment against longtime Trump ally Rudy Giuliani in a defamation case brought by two former election workers from Georgia whose lives were infamously upended after they were named in totally debunked conspiracy theories about systematic fraud in the last presidential race.

Giuliani had been failing to comply with the discovery process, a routine period in which both sides can assemble potentially relevant materials. Now, absent any intervention upon appeal, he will be heading to trial on specifically the question of the level of financial damages to impose, meeting a procedural fate similar to what infamously faced far-right commentator Alex Jones in court cases challenging conspiracy theories he helped propagate about the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Jones failed to meet discovery obligations, and the total in financial penalties later established across multiple trials flew past $1 billion. Jones is in bankruptcy proceedings.

Michael Gottlieb, an attorney for the former Georgia election workers (Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss), said on CNN he anticipated an argument from their side for tens of millions of dollars in damages. “The weaponization of the justice system is when powerful individuals refuse to be accountable to the justice system,” Gottlieb contended, implicating persons like Giuliani himself in arguably politicizing the process. “It’s not when people who have traditionally lacked that power go to the justice system and fight over years and years to get their opponents to comply with basic discovery obligations.” Gottlieb further emphasized the routine nature of the procedural requirements to which Giuliani was subjected and that he flouted.

Giuliani has now been found liable on each specific allegation present from Freeman and Moss. “Our expectation is that we’ll be able to prove tens of millions of dollars in compensatory damages before you get to punitive damages,” the lawyer explained. He subsequently acknowledged that there were still significant, open questions lingering around what Giuliani might be able to pay.