Judge rejects bid to dismiss defamation suit against Giuliani
A federal judge on Tuesday denied a motion from Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani to dismiss a defamation suit from two Georgia elections workers who appeared before the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack.
D.C. District Court Judge Beryl Howell said Giuliani contributed to “increasingly outlandish paranoia” by pushing false claims that the election was stolen.
“Defendant Rudolph Giuliani—a current media personality and former politician once dubbed ‘America’s mayor’—propagated and pushed that false narrative,” Howell wrote.
The suit comes from Shaye Moss and her mother Ruby Freeman, two witnesses who appeared before the Jan. 6 panel to describe how false claims from Giuliani, including a video repeatedly shared by him accusing the two poll workers of counting fraudulent ballots, upended their lives.
The Trump campaign’s allegations were entirely debunked, but not before they resulted in death threats.
The suit covers defamation as well as intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Howell wrote that Giuliani “orchestrated and implemented a strategic plan” regarding faulty fraud claims and the allegations the campaign made against Moss, noting that the plan “provide[s] ample circumstantial evidence of a civil conspiracy between Giuliani and members of the Trump Campaign.”
Howell’s denial sends the trial to the discovery phase, a process that will allow Moss and Freeman to demand more evidence from Giuliani.
Moss appeared before the Jan. 6 committee in its fourth hearing in June, reviewing what had happened since she and her mother were pinpointed in the video shared by Giuliani.
“It’s affected my life in a — in a major way. In every way. All because of lies. For me doing my job, same thing I’ve been doing forever,” Moss said.
“This turned my life upside down. I no longer give out my business card. I don’t transfer calls. I — I don’t want anyone knowing my name.”
Trump supporters eventually turned up at Moss’s grandmother’s house, pushing their way in to make a citizen’s arrest of Moss and Freeman.
Freeman was later advised by the FBI to leave her home.
“I stayed away from my home for approximately two months. It was horrible. I felt homeless. I felt, you know, I can’t believe — I can’t believe this person has caused this much damage to me and my family,” she said in a clip played by the committee.
This story was updated at 3:52 p.m.