Unraveling the Giuliani Defamation Saga: A $148 Million Verdict

In a stunning turn of events, former Trump campaign attorney Rudy Giuliani has been ordered to pay a jaw-dropping $148 million to two Georgia election workers he defamed after the 2020 election. The verdict, delivered at the conclusion of a week-long federal civil trial in Washington, D.C., sheds light on the repercussions of spreading baseless election conspiracies.

The Trial Unveiled: Lies, Fear, and Defamation

Lives in Turmoil

The victims, Wandrea “Shaye” Moss and her mother Ruby Freeman, took the stand, recounting the nightmare they lived through. Moss expressed genuine fear for her life, revealing, “I literally felt that someone would attempt to hang me and there was nothing anyone could do about it.”

Giuliani’s Misinformation Campaign

Giuliani, utilizing his significant platform as a campaign attorney for Trump, falsely accused the women of cheating in the Georgia election. He shared misleading videos, claiming the two were scanning ballots multiple times to favor Joe Biden. A subsequent hand-count audit and a thorough investigation by the Georgia secretary of state’s office debunked these allegations.

Legal Consequences

In August, district Judge Beryl Howell found Giuliani liable for defamation due to his lack of cooperation in the case. Giuliani admitted in court that his statements about Moss and Freeman were false, leading to the trial determining the damages owed to the victims.

The Fallout: Consequences Beyond the Verdict

Impact of Election Lies

Throughout the trial, it became evident that the web of election lies had far-reaching consequences. An expert witness estimated that these falsehoods reached tens of millions, necessitating a potential $47.4 million strategic communications campaign to repair the women’s reputations.

Emotional Toll

Freeman emotionally described receiving threats that forced her to leave her home, emphasizing the severe toll these lies took on her life. Messages like “I hope the federal government hangs you and your daughter from the Capitol dome” left her in perpetual fear.

Giuliani’s Defense: A Flawed Argument

Spreading Blame

Giuliani’s defense attorney, Joseph Sibley, argued that while Giuliani did spread falsehoods, others did too, deflecting blame from his client. However, Judge Howell noted Giuliani’s continued lies about the women while talking to reporters, questioning the validity of this argument.

The Verdict Fallout: Reflections and Optimism

A Dubious Reaction

Giuliani dismissed the jury’s award as “absurd” and expressed confidence in an appeal. However, it marks another legal hurdle in his ongoing legal troubles related to the 2020 election.

Accountability in Election Discourse

Tammy Patrick, an election expert, sees the verdict as a step towards accountability. As the 2024 election approaches, she hopes candidates will think twice before spreading lies about elections and those involved.


The $148 million verdict against Giuliani serves as a landmark moment, highlighting the real-world consequences of spreading misinformation. Beyond the monetary penalty, it underscores the emotional trauma inflicted on innocent individuals. As the legal repercussions continue, the hope is that this verdict sets a precedent, fostering a more accountable and truthful discourse in future elections.

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