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Giuliani Ordered to Pay $148 Million Georgia Election Workers in Defamation Lawsuit 

A federal jury in Washington ordered former Trump associate Rudy Giuliani to pay $148 million in damages to two former Georgia election workers he had defamed by falsely accusing them of election fraud in 2020 on Friday. 

False Accusations Unleash Legal Storm 

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Ruby Freeman and her daughter Wandrea ArShaye “Shaye” Moss had filed a lawsuit against Giuliani for making baseless claims about them being involved in a fake ballot processing scheme during their roles as election workers for Fulton County in the last presidential election.  

Jury Awards $148 Million in Damages 

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The jury had awarded the pair $148 million, including a combined $75 million in punitive damages, compensatory damages of $16.2 million to Freeman and $16.9 million to Moss, as well as $20 million to each of them for emotional suffering. 

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Racist Threats and Harassment 

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Jurors had listened to firsthand accounts from Freeman and Moss. The duo detailed the racist threats and harassment they were inundated with after Giuliani identified them in security camera footage of the ballot processing facility and falsely tied them to voter fraud. 

Giuliani’s Accusations Unraveled 

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“Every single aspect of my life has changed,” Moss had said. “I’m most scared of my son finding me or my mom hanging in front of our house.” 

Giuliani had even accused them of passing USB flash drives like “vials of heroin or cocaine,” alleging a scheme to defraud Trump of an election victory. Moss later testified before Congress, clarifying that she and her mother were passing candy. 

Sibley Argues Against Tens of Millions in Damages 

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The net worth of Giuliani’s assets, which has reportedly fluctuated over the years, is believed to be less than $48.6 million. His attorney, Joe Sibley, had told the jury that awarding the plaintiffs tens of millions would be “the civil equivalence of a death penalty” for Giuliani. 

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Former U.S. Attorney Fires Back 

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However, actions with intent, such as defamation, “are not dischargeable in bankruptcy,” said former U.S. Attorney Barb McQuade, a University of Michigan law professor. Even if Giuliani were to declare bankruptcy, he would still be obligated to fulfill the debt. 

Garnish Wages and Place Liens on Giuliani’s Properties 

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The election workers could obtain orders from the court clerk’s office to “garnish any wages and place liens on his properties,” ensuring they receive proceeds from any sales, McQuade said. 

The verdict from the previous week had added to the extensive array of legal and financial challenges confronting the former New York City mayor. 

“Does he have $148 million? No, I’m not even sure that Rudy Giuliani can afford to pay for Four Seasons landscaping right now,” former acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal revealed. 

Bankruptcy Law Safeguards 

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But Giuliani could not shield himself from the ruling through bankruptcy, he added, echoing the same reasons McQuade provided. 

Katyal had explained that safeguards offered by bankruptcy laws did not extend to judgments of this nature, which included intentional harm. 

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Post Judgement Discovery 

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There is usually a process of post-judgment discovery, which aims to identify the person’s assets and assess what could be collected or subjected to a lien, said Atlanta defense attorney Andrew Fleischman. 

Giuliani’s Resistance 

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“In this case, Giuliani quite stubbornly refused to reveal his resources before trial, and it would not shock me if he continued to stonewall,” Fleischman said. “Remember, he hasn’t paid the sanctions award the judge ordered for violations at trial, $60,000 in phone bills, or his own lawyers who were foolish enough to take him at his word in another case.” 

The Need For Specialists 

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Collecting the judgment against him is going to be “agonizing,” but given the substantial amount, the women should be able to find specialists who would track it down and put liens against whatever resources he did have, garnish his wages, and levy against his bank accounts, Fleischman said. 

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The Only Way Out For Giuliani 

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The judgment was “nondischargeable” in a bankruptcy proceeding, as per Laurie Levenson, a law professor at Loyola Marymount University. The only way Giuliani can get around this is by having the court reduce the judgment, winning an appeal, or settling with the plaintiffs. 

Declaring Bankruptcy Would be Useless 

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Declaring bankruptcy would most likely be unhelpful for Giuliani since it doesn’t cover intentional torts like defamation. That’s why Alex Jones was unable to discharge his debt, Fleischman explained. 

A reason why people prefer to sue large institutions with insurance is that insurance companies cover their legal expenses in the event of a judgment against them. These companies were concerned with “preserving their reputation and their credit,” he added. 

Harsh Words 

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“But Giuliani had his shame gland surgically removed, and he’s going to make every step of collecting even a scrap of this judgment into a grinding misery,” Fleischman had said. 

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