Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani was sued by two Georgia election workers for defamation and was penalized by Judge Beryl Howard for failing to submit required materials responses to the plaintiffs’ motions on Friday.
Mr. Giuliani was already found liable for defamation, and an upcoming Dec. 11 trial will deal with how much he owes in damages. The judge has already sanctioned him previously for ignoring court orders.
On Aug. 30, he was ordered to produce financial-related documents, including about his “personal and his businesses’ past and present assets, revenues, incomes, viewership metrics, and social media reach, all of which information is potentially pertinent at the upcoming damages trial.”
On Sept. 22, he was ordered to file his responses to the plaintiffs’ motions.
The new ruling states he has not filed any of these, and the judge will inform the jury that Mr. Giuliani has intentionally tried to keep his financial information secret. The judge’s order also preemptively prevents Mr. Giuliani from arguing that he is unable to pay the damages owed.
“Defendant Giuliani and his counsel will be precluded from making any argument, or introducing any evidence, stating or suggesting that he is insolvent, bankrupt, judgment proof, or otherwise unable to defend himself, comply with this Court’s orders, or satisfy an eventual judgment,” the ruling states.
He will also be prohibited from introducing new evidence in the upcoming trial that wasn’t already disclosed in discovery.
He will also be unable to argue that he received no financial benefits from the statements the defendants are suing him for.
This new ruling compounds several issues Mr. Giuliani is already facing. Just recently, his entire legal team in another case in Georgia withdrew, and the IRS put a tax lien on his Florida condo.
Election workers Ruby Freeman and Wandrea ArShaye Moss, mother and daughter, sued Mr. Giuliani on Dec. 23, 2021, for defamation over his 2020 accusations of election fraud and ballot manipulation.
Ms. Freeman and Ms. Moss were captured in a video clip that became widely circulated, showing them packing up ballot boxes in suitcases. They later explained that was how they moved equipment around and had done so in previous elections, but accusations had already taken off on social media, suspecting them of assisting in alleged election fraud.
The two of them had testified in June 2022 before the House January 6 Select Committee, stating that they no longer felt safe anywhere after being targeted on social media in such a widespread manner.
“A lot of threats, wishing death upon me, telling me that I’ll be in jail with my mother and saying things like, ‘Be glad it’s 2020 and not 1920,’” Ms. Moss said. “I’ve gained about 60 pounds. I just don’t do nothing anymore. I don’t want to go anywhere. I second-guess everything that I do. It’s affected my life […] in a major way. In every way. All because of lies. For me doing my job, same thing I’ve been doing forever.”
They were investigated by the Georgia Elections Board, which cleared them of any wrongdoing in a report that stated claims against them were “false and unsubstantiated.”
Mr. Giuliani was previously ordered to submit financial information and pay for the plaintiff’s legal fees, totaling $89,172.50 by July 25.
He failed to do so, and on Aug. 30, Judge Howell sanctioned Mr. Giuliani for it, ordering that the jury be instructed that he had tried to artificially deflate his net worth to get out of paying the punitive damages.
In September, Mr. Giuliani was sued by the law firm of his former attorney for $1.4 million in an attempt to recoup legal fees not paid.
Robert Costello, a partner at Davidoff Butcher & Citron LLP, had represented Mr. Giuliani during the House investigations and 10 other civil lawsuits. He had previously served as a deputy in Mr. Giuliani’s office when Mr. Giuliani was U.S. District Attorney in Manhattan. According to the lawsuit, Mr. Giuliani had paid the firm $214,000 since retaining the firm in November 2019, part of which had been paid this year.
Mr. Giuliani has also been indicted in a criminal case in Georgia, alleging he conspired to overturn the 2020 election results that he knew were accurate. Earlier this month, both his attorneys withdrew from the case, leaving him without legal representation in the Fulton County case.
It was then revealed that the IRS placed a tax lien of about half a million dollars on his Palm Beach condo, claiming he owes $549,435 in unpaid taxes. His advisor, Ted Goodman, told reporters that Mr. Giuliani had already come to a formal agreement with the IRS to pay off the liability.
Mr. Giuliani has not commented on the defamation case, though he has been vocal in defending himself regarding the Fulton County case, claiming he acted as legal counsel should.
Amid the several cases against him, Mr. Giuliani on Oct. 7 revealed that he is suing President Joe Biden in New Hampshire for defamation, retaining seasoned defense attorney Lou Diamond.