Lawyers for the two Georgia election workers who won $148 million in damages from former Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani last week filed a new lawsuit Monday, asking a federal judge to order him to stop repeating his damaging debunked claims about the poll workers and to immediately enforce the jury’s massive award before his assets are dissipated.
Ruby Freeman and Wandrea Arshaye “Shaye” Moss asserted that Giuliani is continuing to baselessly accuse the former Fulton County election workers of manipulating the absentee ballot count to steal the 2020 election from former president Donald Trump in Georgia. The former New York mayor repeated the allegations during and after his defamation damages trial last week, even as his lawyer conceded in court the claims were wrong.
“Everything I said about them is true,” Giuliani told reporters outside the courthouse after the first day of his trial on Dec. 11, adding, “Of course I don’t regret it. … They were engaged in changing votes.”
On Friday, hours after an eight-person federal jury ordered Giuliani to pay the two workers three times more than they asked for, Giuliani gave another live news interview in which he claimed he was unable to present evidence of “all the videos at the time” showing “what happened at the arena,” Moss and Freeman’s lawyers alleged.
U.S. District Judge Beryl A. Howell had found Giuliani liable by default before trial based on his own admissions and his refusal to turn over to the women’s attorneys evidence in the case and relevant information such as his net worth and the size of his radio, YouTube and other online audiences. Giuliani declined to contest the facts of the case and did not testify in his own defense, despite publicly saying that he would. Howell gave Giuliani until 2 p.m. Tuesday to respond to the women’s request to speed enforcement of the order.
In trial, Giuliani attorney Joseph D. Sibley IV told jurors that his client did not testify out of respect for the women, who “have been through enough,” adding, “Mr. Giuliani is a good man” even if “he hasn’t exactly helped himself with some of the things that happened in the past few days.”
After the verdict, Giuliani said he didn’t testify because he was afraid of being put in jail for contempt of court. He went on to say, falsely, that there was evidence jurors did not get to see supporting his accusations against Freeman and Moss. Giuliani is also under state criminal indictment in Georgia with Trump for related offenses and could have risked incriminating himself.
Freeman and Moss’s attorneys wrote Monday that they asked Giuliani to agree to stop making such false claims before bringing their new suit seeking a court order and legal fees but that Giuliani refused to agree.
“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,” attorney Michael J. Gottlieb wrote for the plaintiff’s legal team in a 10-page filing, seeking a “targeted injunction” barring Giuliani from repeating his defamatory falsehoods.
Sibley and a Giuliani spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.
Minutes after filing the new suit, Gottlieb asked Howell, Giuliani’s trial judge, to let the plaintiff’s immediately pursue the $148 million judgment, citing the risk that Giuliani, the former Manhattan U.S. attorney, will empty out his savings before any money can be recovered.
“The time has come to permit Plaintiffs to begin their efforts to collect what they can from a recalcitrant defendant,” Gottlieb wrote. There is an automatic 30-day grace period for monetary judgments in federal court, but a judge can choose to end it early.
Giuliani has repeatedly said through attorneys that he is in dire financial straights. But the plaintiffs say he does have “substantial assets,” including a condo in Southern Florida and a co-op in Manhattan that is currently on the market for $6.1 million, along with “numerous accounts” at New York banks.
At the same time, Gottlieb expressed concern that Freeman and Moss will soon have to compete with other creditors, since Giuliani is being sued by one of his former lawyers and Hunter Biden and faces prosecution in Georgia.
Gottlieb suggested that as an alternative to an immediate judgment, Giuliani be required to post a bond that would prevent him from hiding or spending his remaining assets. The plaintiff’s lawyer noted that Giuliani has yet to pay any of the six-figure penalties Howell imposed on him for failing to comply with court orders before the jury trial.
“There is especially good reason to believe that Defendant Giuliani intends to evade payment of the judgment by any means he can devise,” Gottlieb wrote.