In a landmark decision, Judge Beryl Howell mandated on Wednesday that Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City, must immediately remit $148 million to Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss, two Georgia poll workers. This ruling is the culmination of a defamation lawsuit that found Giuliani guilty of falsely accusing the pair of election fraud during the 2020 presidential race.
The 13-page order issued by Judge Howell is unambiguous in its demand for swift compliance, significantly reducing Giuliani’s chances of evading the judgment. Legal expert Harry Litman highlighted the importance of this development, stating, "This greatly limits Giuliani's capacity to manipulate or dispose of his assets." He further emphasized, "This is a major turn of events and the latest in a series of decisive strikes against Rudy Giuliani."
Giuliani's Evasive Tactics
Judge Howell's order paints Giuliani as an evasive participant in the legal process.
In a sharp rebuttal to Giuliani's assertion that he has no intention of concealing his assets despite his increasing debts, the judge pointed out that his statement blatantly overlooks the comprehensive evidence in this case.
This evidence suggests that Giuliani has made efforts to obscure his assets, notably by not adhering to requests for financial information during the discovery phase. Lisa Rubin, an analyst for MSNBC, shed light on the potential for Giuliani to seek a suspension of Judge Howell's verdict.
However, she notes that securing such a stay would likely necessitate Giuliani posting a bond for the entire amount of the damages awarded, adding another layer of complexity to his situation. The root of the lawsuit against Giuliani stems from his baseless claims against Freeman and Moss, accusing them of introducing counterfeit votes into Georgia's 2020 presidential election tally.
Giuliani alleged that what he believed to be a USB drive containing fraudulent ballots was, in fact, a ginger mint, as later testified by the women in front of Congress. This false accusation led to significant personal and professional harm for Freeman and Moss, thus resulting in their successful lawsuit for defamation.