Rudy Giuliani: Former Georgia election workers sue again, asking judge to permanently stop him from lying about them

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CNN
 — 

Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss, the two Georgia election workers who won a nearly $150 million verdict against Rudy Giuliani for defamation on Friday, have sued him again, asking a federal judge to permanently prohibit him from lying about them.

The lawsuit comes as Giuliani has continued to make false statements about their work as absentee ballot counters in the 2020 election.

“Defendant Giuliani continues to spread the very same lies for which he has already been held liable,” the new lawsuit says. “Defendant Giuliani’s statements, coupled with his refusal to agree to refrain from continuing to make such statements, make clear that he intends to persist in his campaign of targeted defamation and harassment. It must stop.”

The new lawsuit represents the latest round of fallout facing the former New York mayor because of his legal work for Donald Trump after the 2020 election – and comes as Giuliani continues to be buried in debt and legal proceedings. He is also headed to trial for criminal charges in Georgia, where he’s pleaded not guilty, related to his 2020 election work for Trump.

Moss and Freeman’s lawyers added that even since the verdict, Giuliani has indicated he wouldn’t stop repeating the false claims about them.

At the end of the first day of their defamation damages trial against him last week, Giuliani told TV cameras outside court that “everything I said about them is true” and that he had proof that the media should “stay tuned.” Giuliani presented little defense in the case and didn’t testify.

Moss and Freeman pointed out that Giuliani also told the media after the jury’s verdict Friday he had “no doubt” his comments were “supportable,” and that he continued to repeat himself on a podcast hosted by far-right figure Steve Bannon on Saturday.

Their new lawsuit seeks a permanent injunction from the federal court in Washington, DC, to be placed on Giuliani that would prohibit him “from making or publishing, or causing to be made or published, further statements repeating any and all false claims” that the mother and daughter during the 2020 election ballot counting “engaged in election fraud, illegal activity or misconduct of any kind,” according to the filing.

More than a dozen statements Giuliani made about them, accusing the women of tampering with votes as they counted ballots, were found to be false and defamatory.

US District Court for the District of Columbia

Verdict form in Rudy Giuliani federal defamation trial, December 15, 2023.

In a separate court filing Monday, attorneys on both sides agreed on final numbers and terms now that the jury has weighed in.

Giuliani agreed the court’s final judgment would make clear he owes the women $146 million, plus more than $237,000 for attorneys’ fees. The jury verdict has been slightly reduced because Moss and Freeman previously settled another part of their lawsuit, against One America News Network and others.

Giuliani also said the court can say, in its final judgment, that he made more than a dozen defamatory statements about Moss and Freeman that hurt them, and that his “conduct was intentional, malicious, wanton and willful,” according to the filing.

By including those declarations in the court’s judgment, it will be more difficult for Giuliani to avoid paying Moss and Freeman by filing for bankruptcy.

The judge, Beryl Howell of the DC District Court, signed off on the terms of the final judgment Monday evening.

The clock is likely to start soon for when the women may begin collecting what Giuliani owes them for their emotional distress, reputational harm and as punishment.

Moss and Freeman’s attorneys have told the court they would like to try to collect money and claim his assets as soon as possible, and not wait for a 30-day delay that is automatic in cases like these. Giuliani said he wants to keep the 30-day delay, but Howell hasn’t weighed in yet on that timing.

“We are going to work very, very hard to ensure that they see every bit of money that Mr. Giuliani has available to him to pay and satisfy this judgment,” John Langford, one of Moss and Freeman’s attorneys, told CNN’s Erin Burnett after the verdict.

“Getting a final judgment entered is the document you need to go to other jurisdictions where Mr. Giuliani has assets, New York, Florida, and … attach the judgment to his assets,” Langford added.

While Giuliani has repeatedly claimed he’s broke, Moss and Freeman’s legal team is already carving out ways to collect what they’re owed.

The lawyers for the women have identified “substantial assets” Giuliani has in New York and Florida, including bank accounts, a condo in south Florida and a New York City co-op, according to another court filing following the jury verdict.

And during the trial last week, Giuliani acknowledged he had reached an agreement to host a show on a streaming channel affiliated with the right-wing network Newsmax, which could contribute to his income, in addition to earnings from podcasting and other public appearances.

Moss and Freeman’s team told the court Monday they are already concerned Giuliani may try to shield some of his wealth, so they want to try to claim some of his assets as soon as this week.

“Defendant Giuliani has already proven himself to be an unwilling and uncooperative litigant, including with respect to this Court’s orders to pay attorney’s fees and cost,” Moss and Freeman’s attorneys told Howell on Monday. “There is a severe risk that Defendant Giuliani will use whatever time he has to alienate or dissipate what assets are available to satisfy even a small portion of Plaintiffs’ judgment.”

Moss and Freeman’s lawyers have struggled for months to gain a full picture of the former New York City mayor’s financial state, with some of their only insight coming from a years-old tax return of Giuliani’s that has not been made public.

Even so, Giuliani has publicly claimed he is broke. That prompted him earlier in the lawsuit to essentially forfeit fighting them in court, leading to the trial this month.

The court action on Monday notes Giuliani still hadn’t paid Moss and Freeman for reimbursements they won earlier for their attorneys’ fees.

A law firm that had represented Giuliani in other proceedings is suing him for almost $1.4 million of unpaid legal bills as well. That’s on top of other debts Giuliani has disclosed publicly, such as tens of thousands of dollars in unpaid phone bills and litigation costs, some of which Trump has helped him with.

“If he does not file for bankruptcy, he will continue to be indebted to them, until he can pay it off,” Jennifer Hardy, a bankruptcy partner at the law firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher, which represents Moss and Freeman, told CNN on Monday. Hardy and others at the firm have been working to try to secure money for the families of Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims from another right-wing figure, Alex Jones, who defamed them and has since filed for bankruptcy.

The Jones case shows that following major defamation judgments, defendants need to “come up with the money, strike a deal or have a debt that’s hanging around your neck for the rest of your life,” another Willkie Farr partner involved in the Jones case, Stuart Lombardi, said Monday.

This story has been updated with additional developments.

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