Legal analyst on Trump and Giuliani cases

Legal analyst on Trump and Giuliani’s latest court challenges


Washington — Former Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani opted not to testify at his defamation trial Thursday, his attorney told the court, even though Giuliani had told reporters a day earlier that he intended to do so.

Two former Fulton County, Georgia, election workers, Ruby Freeman and her daughter, Wandrea ArShaye “Shaye” Moss sued Giuliani, alleging he orchestrated a smear campaign against them by repeatedly falsely accusing them of committing election fraud to change the outcome of the 2020 election in their state. They’re seeking from $15.5 million to $43 million for damages from him, according to recent court filings. 

Before the jury trial this week to determine the size of the award to Freeman and Moss, U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell had already found that Giuliani was liable for several claims of defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress and civil conspiracy. 

Speaking with reporters this week outside of court, he sought to distance himself from the threatening and racist messages the two received, saying he had no idea who the people were who sent them. Still, days earlier, Giuliani told reporters he had told the truth about Freeman and Moss.

The two election workers were catapulted into the public eye after Giuliani posted video of the two processing ballots on election night at State Farm Arena in Atlanta and claimed it showed they were engaged in a fake ballot processing scheme. An investigation by the Georgia secretary of state later concluded, “All allegations made against Freeman and Moss were unsubstantiated and found to have no merit.”

Giuliani has also conceded that he had made false statements about Freeman and Moss when he claimed they engaged in voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election. However, he maintained that he was engaging in constitutionally protected speech when he leveled the accusations.