Georgia election workers testify against Rudy Giuliani in defamation damages trial

Date:

14m ago / 12:11 PM EST

Giuliani lawyer acknowledges he’s ‘committed wrongful conduct’

Giuliani lawyer Joseph Sibley has began his closing argument. He quickly acknowledged that “my client has committed wrongful conduct against” the plaintiffs.

He also suggested Giuliani decided not to testify because “we feel like these women have been through enough.” While accepting that “these women have been harmed,” Sibley said the amount they’re seeking in damages is too high.

He told the jurors the message they should send his client is: “You should have been better, but you’re not as bad as the plaintiffs are making you out to be.”

14m ago / 12:11 PM EST

Giuliani should pay each plaintiff at least $24M in damages, lawyer says

Gottlieb asked the jury to award Freeman and Moss at least $24 million each in damages for Giuliani’s defamatory statements.

“That amount is not even close to the amount of reputational damage our clients have suffered in this case,” Gottlieb said.

He did not request a specific amount for the emotional distress claims or the punitive damages, telling jurors he would leave that up to their good judgement.

Gottlieb also played a video of Giuliani criticizing the mother and daughter outside the courthouse earlier this week. “He does not think that Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss are good people,” Gottlieb said. “Never has, and if this week is any indication, he never will.”

Before wrapping up his statement, he also alluded to Giuliani’s decision not to testify, reminding jurors that his clients had testified under oath “unlike some other people.” 

34m ago / 11:51 AM EST

Freeman attorney urges jury to ‘send a message’ with their verdict

Gottlieb asked the jury to “send a message” with their verdict against the former New York City mayor.

Giuliani “has no right to offer up defenseless civil servants up to a virtual mob in order to overturn an election,” the lawyer said, and urged jurors to make him pay for his actions.

An expert witness for Freeman and Moss, Ashlee Humphreys, testified yesterday that it would cost the mother and daughter between $17.8 million to $47.8 million to fix their reputations.

1h ago / 11:00 AM EST

Freeman lawyer rips ‘bully’ Giuliani

Gottlieb read a passage from Giuliani’s 2002 book, “Leadership,” in which Giuliani wrote that his father told him: “Never pick on someone smaller than you. Never be a bully.”

Gottlieb told jurors that Giuliani should have taken that advice. He said that Giuliani’s theory of the case seems to be that high-profile, famous people matter, but that average citizens are “irrelevant, replaceable, worthless.”

1h ago / 10:59 AM EST

Court is in session

The jury is back in courtroom and the defense has rested its case, paving the way for closing arguments.

The plaintiffs’ closing statement is being delivered by their lawyer Michael Gottlieb.

He told the jury that Freeman and Moss “are more than internet memes, although they became that through no fault of their own.”

1h ago / 10:59 AM EST

Giuliani said he’ll ‘continue to tell the truth’ hours before he backed out of testifying

In a post to the social media platform X last night, Giuliani thanked his supporters for reaching out “with support and encouragement,” adding that he will “continue to tell the truth.”

“It means a lot to me. We will continue to tell the truth, and I will continue to serve others while always doing the right thing,” he wrote.

In July, Giuliani conceded in a court filing that he had made “false” statements about Freeman and Moss, two Georgia election workers, in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election.

2h ago / 10:09 AM EST

In a reversal, Giuliani won’t testify, his lawyer says

Giuliani won’t testify in his civil defamation trial, his lawyer said this morning.

He was expected to take the stand today as the only defense witness.

Giuliani’s absence mean today’s proceedings will likely go straight to closing arguments when the jury arrives at 10 a.m.

3h ago / 9:04 AM EST

Judge calls out Giuliani for publicly criticizing the plaintiffs

During yesterday’s proceedings, plaintiffs’ lawyer Michael Gottlieb asked the judge to reprimand Giuliani again for remarks he made publicly the night before, in which he referred to the case as a “political hit job” in comments to reporters outside the courtroom. Later that evening, Giuliani disparaged the plaintiffs in a livestream shared to the social media platform X.

Judge Beryl Howell turned to Giuliani’s lawyer, Joseph Sibley, to ask what he planned to do to curb Giuliani from speaking out again: “I know we said before you have a difficult job.” Sibley responded that he would just reiterate again the repercussions to his client.

The judge also asked Giuliani directly about the comments he made, to which Giuliani said he didn’t know he wasn’t able to make them.

Giuliani said if what he said was not allowed, then it was an accident. “There’s a lot of accidents going on,” Howell replied. 

4h ago / 8:10 AM EST

What to expect during today’s proceedings

Giuliani is expected to take the stand as the only defense witness in today’s trial proceedings.

The jury was instructed to convene at the court at 10 a.m. ET to give both sides enough time to discuss legal issues before the defense presents its case.

Earlier in the trial, Giuliani’s attorney, Joseph Sibley, had suggested that his client’s allegations against the plaintiffs might have actually helped their reputations, noting that Freeman and Moss had received the Presidential Citizens Medal from President Joe Biden.

Sibley also tried to undermine Humphreys’ credibility, asking her during cross-examination, “Are you getting paid something if the outcome is different?”

4h ago / 8:34 AM EST

What happened in yesterday’s trial proceedings

Freeman delivered emotional testimony yesterday, discussing threats to her and her daughter in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election.

“It’s so scary every time I go somewhere if I have to use my name,” Freeman said. Her lawyer also showed the jury violent death threats that were sent to Freeman.

Earlier in the day, Humphreys testified that, according to her analysis, it would cost Freeman and Moss between $17.8 million and $47.8 million to repair their reputations.

A judge previously ruled that Giuliani defamed Freeman and Moss, who were election workers in Georgia.

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