Rudy Giuliani admits making false claims about Georgia election workers

Rudy Giuliani, the former personal lawyer of ex-President Donald Trump, has admitted that he made public comments falsely accusing two Georgia election workers of ballot fraud during the 2020 presidential election. However, he argues that his statements were protected by the First Amendment and did not cause any damage to the workers.

The lawsuit

The lawsuit was filed in December 2020 by Ruby Freeman and Wandrea “Shaye” Moss, two election workers who were involved in counting ballots at State Farm Arena in Atlanta. The lawsuit accuses Giuliani of defaming them by repeatedly pushing debunked claims that they pulled out suitcases of illegal ballots and committed other acts of fraud to try to alter the outcome of the race in favor of Joe Biden.

The lawsuit cites several instances where Giuliani made these allegations on TV, radio, podcasts, social media, and at a legislative hearing in Georgia. The lawsuit also claims that Giuliani’s statements exposed Freeman and Moss to harassment, threats, and emotional distress.

The admission

In a court filing on Tuesday, Rudy Giuliani admits making false claims about Georgia election workers and Moss but did not admit to any wrongdoing. He said that his statements were constitutionally protected opinions based on his interpretation of publicly available video footage and affidavits.

“While Giuliani does not admit to Plaintiffs’ allegations, he — for purposes of this litigation only — does not contest the factual allegations,” the filing said¹.

Giuliani also said that he does not concede that his statements caused any damage to Freeman or Moss. He argued that they have not shown any evidence of actual malice, which is required to prove defamation against public figures.

“Giuliani’s statements were not made with knowledge of their falsity or reckless disregard for their truth or falsity,” the filing said¹.

The reaction

Michael Gottlieb, a lawyer for Freeman and Moss, said in a statement that Giuliani’s admission confirms what they have always known to be true: that Freeman and Moss honorably performed their civic duties in the 2020 presidential election and that Giuliani’s allegations of election fraud were false from the start.

“Giuliani’s admission is a major milestone in our fight for justice, and we look forward to presenting what remains of this case at trial,” Gottlieb said².

Ted Goodman, a political adviser for Giuliani, said in an email that the filing was made “in order to move on to the portion of the case that will permit a motion to dismiss.”²

The context

Giuliani’s admission comes as he faces multiple legal challenges related to his role in Trump’s efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election. He is also under criminal investigation by federal prosecutors in New York for his dealings with Ukraine.

Giuliani is not the only one who has been sued by Georgia election workers for defamation. Trump himself, as well as his allies Sidney Powell and Lin Wood, have also been targeted by similar lawsuits.

The lawsuits are part of a broader effort by election officials and workers across the country to hold accountable those who spread false or misleading information about the integrity of the 2020 election.

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