Rudy Giuliani concedes he made false statements against 2 Georgia election workers
Rudy Giuliani conceded in a court filing that he made false statements when he said two Georgia election workers mishandled ballots during the 2020 election.
In 2021, Ruby Freeman and Wandrea "Shaye" Moss, who are mother and daughter, filed a defamation lawsuit against Giuliani for these accusations in the federal court in Washington, D.C.
And in his latest court filings for this case, the former New York City mayor backed off his previous statements.
"While Giuliani does not admit to Plaintiffs' allegations, he — for purposes of this litigation only — does not contest the factual allegations," court documents filed Tuesday read.
In a declaration signed by Giuliani, he acknowledges that he made statements that "carry meaning that is defamatory per se" and that those comments were "actionable" and "false."
This declaration also stipulates that Giuliani "believes that he has legal defenses" to the lawsuit and wants to "avoid unnecessary expenses in litigating what he believes to be unnecessary disputes." He also said he believes his statements were constitutionally protected.
An attorney for Giuliani didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. But in a statement to The Guardian, Giuliani adviser Ted Goodman said these recent filings were done just to move the case past the case's discovery phase and onto legal arguments.
Michael J. Gottlieb, the attorney for Moss and Freeman, saw Giuliani's declaration as more significant.
"Giuliani's stipulation concedes what we have always known to be true — Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss honorably performed their civic duties in the 2020 presidential election in full compliance with the law; and the allegations of election fraud he and former-President Trump made against them have been false since day one," Gottlieb said in a statement. "While certain issues, including damages, remain to be decided by the court, our clients are pleased with this major milestone in their fight for justice, and look forward to presenting what remains of this case at trial."
Giuliani, the ex-attorney for former President Donald Trump, also promoted a video that purportedly showed the two women manipulating ballots in 2020 while working at the State Farm Arena for the Fulton County Board of Elections. In the wake of his 2020 election loss, Trump similarly accused the women of having a hand in changing the outcome of the election.
In a phone call leaked before the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, Trump berated Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to overturn the state's election results. Trump specifically mentioned Freeman 18 times in this call.
Trump is currently facing a criminal investigation in Fulton County, Ga., for his, and his allies', efforts to overturn 2020 election results in the state. The investigation was launched after this phone call with Raffensperger went public.
These statements also made Moss and Freeman the targets of a conspiracy theory spread by Trump and his allies.
Moss said she and her mother received racist death threats that forced the two women to hide their identity. Moss, who had been a Fulton County Elections Department employee since 2017, said she had to leave her job because the threats became too much
Among his false accusations, Giuliani had claimed Moss handed her mother a thumb drive "like they were vials of heroin or cocaine." In reality, Moss said in her testimony to Congress that her mother had just handed her a ginger mint. [Copyright 2023 NPR]