Why Giuliani Faces Urgency in Settling $150 Million Defamation Verdict
A federal judge has issued a compelling order demanding Rudy Giuliani, former lawyer to Donald Trump, to promptly commence payments totaling nearly $150 million to the two Georgia election workers, Ruby Freeman and Wandrea’ ArShaye “Shaye” Moss. The ruling stems from a civil defamation lawsuit in which Giuliani was found guilty of wrongly accusing the workers of voter fraud during the 2020 general election.
The defamation case concluded on December 15 and resulted in a jury awarding Freeman and Moss $148 million in damages. Concerns arose that Giuliani might attempt to evade payment by dissipating his assets or claiming insolvency. The former election workers swiftly sought to dissolve the automatic 30-day stay of judgment enforcement, urging the court to permit them to pursue their awarded compensation in any district.
U.S. District Court Judge Beryl Howell in Washington, D.C., sided with Freeman and Moss in their request, deeming it “appropriate and warranted.” Howell highlighted Giuliani’s failure to comply with court rules during the trial, particularly regarding disclosing his financial situation. The judge expressed dissatisfaction with Giuliani’s persistent evasion of responsibilities, including the payment of imposed sanctions.
Giuliani’s refusal to disclose his financial details and address repeated requests hampers the court’s ability to assess the validity of his claims. Despite arguments from Giuliani’s counsel that the ordered payment resembles a “civil equivalent of the death penalty,” Howell emphasized the lack of evidence supporting his alleged financial difficulties.
In her ruling, Howell pointed out Giuliani’s efforts to conceal or hide assets, stating, “Nowhere in opposition does Giuliani promise not to hide assets from plaintiffs. Nor does he contend, let alone demonstrate with documentary or other proof, that he would be unable to satisfy the judgment, in whole or in part.”
Giuliani’s claim that immediate execution of the final judgment would deprive him of the opportunity to reduce the owed amount was also rebutted by Howell. She highlighted that the awarded sum is $10 million less than the plaintiffs had initially requested. While Giuliani has the option to appeal, doing so requires posting a bond for the owed amount, with a demonstration of financial incapacity if unable to comply.
The ruling underscores the ongoing legal challenges Giuliani faces as a consequence of his involvement in post-2020 election controversies. The defamation case, linked to accusations of voter fraud, further amplifies the legal scrutiny surrounding the former New York City mayor. As Giuliani navigates this legal battleground, the court’s insistence on immediate payment emphasizes the gravity of the defamation ruling and the consequences of his actions.
Giuliani’s legal team may explore avenues for appeal, but the judge’s decision accentuates the urgency for Giuliani to address the financial repercussions of the defamation lawsuit. The intricate legal proceedings highlight the intersection of politics and the judiciary, showcasing the complexities surrounding high-profile figures embroiled in legal disputes.