Rudy Giuliani ordered to pay $US148m in defamation case by election workers Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss

Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani’s finances would be up-ended if he fails in an appeal of a defamation suit in which he was ordered to pay $US148 million ($221 million) to two Atlanta election workers he falsely accused of ballot fraud.

Mr Giuliani’s attorney said on Thursday in the Washington, DC, courtroom that an initial $US43 million ($64 million) in damages sought by Ruby Freeman and her daughter, Andrea “Shaye” Moss, would be “the civil equivalent of the death penalty”, the NY Post reports.

“If you award them what they are asking for, it will be the end of Mr Giuliani,” attorney Joe Sibley said of his 79-year-old client, according to multiple reports.

After two days of deliberations, a DC jury ended up awarding the pair $US75 million ($112 million) in punitive damages and $US20 million ($30 million) to both individually for emotional distress.

Ms Moss was also given just under $US17 million ($25.4 million) for defamation, while Ms Freeman got nearly $US16.2 million ($24.2 million).

Now, “America’s mayor”, who is fending off other attempts to drain his finances through million-dollar lawsuits that allege he stiffed payments to attorneys and accountants, has promised to appeal the decision, pointing to “the absurdity of the number” awarded to the plaintiffs.

“Do I have $43 million? No. Am I going to fight this case until I die? Yeah,” Mr Giuliani told The Post. “I’d rather die poor with my principles than cave in to a destruction of my country that I love so much.”

He also claimed the suit was “part of the Biden offensive that started some time ago to see what they can do about intimidating Trump lawyers, Trump supporters”, adding that one of the attorneys representing Ms Freeman and Ms Moss, Mike Gottlieb, was “a good friend of Hunter Biden”.

Mr Gottlieb, a former associate White House counsel for President Barack Obama, served at the law firm Boies Schiller Flexner at the same time as the then-second son and is included in email exchanges on his abandoned laptop discussing a potential deal with a Romanian oligarch.

Asked about a recent $US550,000 ($820,000) tax lien reported by The New York Times that the IRS placed on his Palm Beach, Florida, condominium, Mr Giuliani said, “I don’t trust anything that the Biden government does, this is not the United States government.”

US District Judge Beryl Howell found Mr Giuliani liable by default in August for defaming the mother-daughter duo by claiming they had processed fraudulent ballots in Fulton County during the 2020 presidential election.

“How you can find liability based on discovery is beyond me when they had my deposition,” Mr Giuliani also told The Post.

“They had more documents about me than I have. The discovery went on for about a year and a half and included thousands and thousands and thousands of documents, including I sat for a deposition and did not take the Fifth Amendment.”

The former New York City mayor listed his longtime Manhattan co-op for $US6.5 million ($9.7 million) the same month, which the FBI raided in 2021 to seize his electronic devices, potentially as part of a probe over his failure to register as a foreign agent for Ukraine in the lead-up to the 2020 election.

In her decision, Judge Howell said Mr Giuliani had given “only lip service” to his legal obligations and to complying with evidence requests from lawyers for the Georgia election workers about his private communications and finances.

“The absurdity of the number merely underscores the absurdity of the entire proceeding, where I’ve not been allowed to offer one single piece of evidence in defence, of which I have a lot,” Mr Giuliani told reporters outside the courthouse.

“I am quite confident when this case gets before a fair tribunal, it will be reversed so quickly that it’ll make your head spin, and the absurd number that just came in will help that.”

This article originally appeared on NY Post and was reproduced with permission

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