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Rudy Giuliani ordered to pay $148M damages Georgia election workers

Georgia election workers awarded $148 million in lawsuit against Giuliani for defamation over lies and racist threats. Giuliani faces financial peril.

A jury in Washington has awarded $148 million in damages to two former Georgia election workers who sued Rudy Giuliani for defamation. The lawsuit was filed after Giuliani spread lies about the women in 2020, which led to racist threats and harassment. The emotional testimony from Wandrea "Shaye" Moss and her mother, Ruby Freeman, described how their lives were upended by the false conspiracy theory pushed by Giuliani and other Republicans. Giuliani had already been found liable in the case and conceded in court documents that he falsely accused the women of ballot fraud. Despite this, he continued to repeat his baseless allegations about the women.

Giuliani's lawyer acknowledged that his client was wrong but insisted that Giuliani was not fully responsible for the vitriol the women faced. The defense sought to largely pin the blame on a right-wing website that published the surveillance video of the two women counting ballots. The judgment adds to growing financial and legal peril for Giuliani, who was among the loudest proponents of Trump's false claims of election fraud.

The women's lawyers asked for at least $24 million for each woman in defamation damages alone, as well as compensation for their emotional harm and punitive damages. On the witness stand, Moss and Freeman described fearing for their lives as hateful messages poured in. They also described how they had to change their appearance and how they suffer from panic attacks.

The defense attorney for Giuliani urged jurors to "remember this is a great man," but an attorney for Moss and Freeman highlighted how Giuliani has not stopped repeating the false conspiracy theory. The judge overseeing the lawsuit had already ordered Giuliani and his business entities to pay tens of thousands of dollars in attorneys' fees. In holding Giuliani liable, the judge ruled that the former mayor gave "only lip service" to complying with his legal obligations while trying to portray himself as the victim in the case. This lawsuit adds to Giuliani's financial strain as he defends himself against costly lawsuits and investigations stemming from his representation of Trump. He is also facing criminal charges in the Georgia case accusing Trump and 18 others of working to subvert the results of the 2020 election. Giuliani has pleaded not guilty and characterized the case as politically motivated.

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