In a significant ruling, a federal judge has decided that former Georgia election workers Ruby Freeman and Wandrea’ ArShaye “Shaye” Moss can immediately pursue the nearly $150 million in damages awarded to them from Rudy Giuliani.
This decision, made on Wednesday, comes after Giuliani, a former lawyer for Donald Trump, was found liable in a civil defamation lawsuit for falsely accusing them of voter fraud during the 2020 general election.
Court allows immediate judgment enforcement against Giuliani
Freeman and Moss were granted the right to enforce the judgment without the standard 30-day waiting period over concerns that Giuliani might dissipate his assets.
The plaintiffs feared that Giuliani, who faced the trial in the District of Columbia, might not have sufficient assets in the district and could use the waiting period to hide what he did have.
Judge Howell supports enforcement request
Judge Beryl Howell of the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., agreed with their request, stating that “it is both appropriate and warranted.”
During the trial, Giuliani failed to comply with court rules requiring disclosure of his financial situation, a behavior Judge Howell criticized.
Judge Howell approves request, criticizes Giuliani’s non-compliance
She pointed out Giuliani’s ongoing refusal to pay sanctions imposed for this failure and noted the concerns raised about Giuliani’s potential to claim an inability to pay while hiding assets.
Giuliani argued against these claims, but Howell found his defense lacking, stating, “Giuliani’s efforts to conceal or hide his assets” are evident from the case’s record.
Judge Howell questions Giuliani’s financial hardship claims
Giuliani’s legal team contended that the $148 million penalty was excessive, likening it to “the civil equivalent of the death penalty.”
However, Howell observed that without Giuliani’s financial disclosures, it’s challenging to evaluate these claims.
She also highlighted the contradiction between Giuliani’s alleged financial difficulties and his ability to afford a spokesperson, who was present throughout the trial.
Giuliani faces bond requirement for appeal; reduced judgment noted
Although Giuliani can still appeal the decision, doing so would require him to post a bond equivalent to the amount owed to Freeman or Moss.
If unable to post this bond, Giuliani would need to prove his financial incapacity.
Howell noted that the awarded amount was $10 million less than what the plaintiffs initially requested, countering Giuliani’s argument about the judgment’s magnitude.
Giuliani’s defamation case ruling highlights legal fallout of 2020 election
This ruling marks a pivotal moment in the defamation case, showcasing the legal consequences of false allegations in the politically charged aftermath of the 2020 election.
As the case proceeds, Giuliani’s response and the plaintiffs’ actions in seeking the awarded damages will be closely watched, reflecting the ongoing legal and political ramifications of the 2020 election controversies.