A Georgia judge’s ruling on Tuesday allowed a Black mother-daughter duo to continue their defamation lawsuit against Rudy Giuliani, who served as a lawyer to former President Donald Trump.
Giuliani sought to have a court throw out the suit filed by Ruby Freeman and her daughter, Shaye Moss, who served as election workers in Georgia during the 2020 presidential election.
The Trump campaign — led by Trump and Giuliani — helped spread lies that the two women were involved in a plot to defraud Trump out of an election victory in Georgia.
Both women testified before the House’s Jan. 6 committee about the threats they received after Trump, Giuliani and other conservatives scapegoated them for Trump’s failure to win Georgia.
The Trump campaign’s claims were refuted by the Republican officials overseeing Georgia’s elections in 2020, and an official recount confirmed Joe Biden’s victory in the state. Additionally, multiple Trump campaign and administration officials testified to the Jan. 6 committee that they told Trump his claims of election fraud were false.
In her ruling Tuesday, Judge Beryl Howell accurately portrayed Trump and Giuliani’s disinformation effort targeting the two women as a desperate and illiberal ploy, noting it came after they had exhausted all legal avenues for challenging election results.
“Put simply, the legal mechanisms in place to challenge and review the election process in Georgia were vigorously invoked, diligently performed and plainly worked to assure the accuracy of the vote counting and validity of the results,” she wrote.
Nonetheless, Giuliani helped spearhead the campaign’s “media offensive” falsely depicting Moss and Freeman as vote-riggers, the judge added. Giuliani has argued that his statements were constitutionally protected opinion.
“Defendant Rudolph Giuliani — a current media personality and former politician once dubbed ‘America’s mayor’ — propagated and pushed that false narrative,” wrote Howell, who added the two women were “caught in the crossfire of Giuliani’s campaign to undermine the legitimacy of the 2020 election.”
Moss and Freeman’s original suit, filed last December, listed multiple defendants, including the conspiracy-driven news outlet One America News and top executives at the company. Earlier this summer, the mother and daughter amended their lawsuit to list Giuliani as the sole defendant.
But remember: That still leaves the door open for them to seek damages from others, including Trump, down the line.