Lawyers for Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss, who sued Donald Trump’s former attorney over baseless claims that fuelled threats of violence against them, have filed a notice in federal court that he has yet to pay more than $132,000 in sanctions after he failed to respond to parts of their lawsuit.
A four-page filing in US District Court on 21 September notes that Mr Giuliani was ordered to produce evidence and pay attorneys’ fees no later than 20 September. “Plaintiffs are considering what further relief may be appropriate,” according to the filing.
Last month, US District Judge Beryl Howell in Washington DC determined that Mr Giuliani is liable for defamation for his baseless, inflammatory statements about the women, which are also central to two sprawling criminal indictments surrounding Mr Trump’s alleged efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.
Mr Giuliani was ordered to pay $89,172 in attorneys’ fees after he failed to respond to requests for evidence, as well as another $43,684 in fees after he ignored requests for business records, under the judge’s orders.
In his order last month, Judge Howell said that Mr Giuliani “refused to comply with his discovery obligations and thwarted plaintiffs ... procedural rights to obtain any meaningful discovery in this case.”
An order on 22 September gave the election workers one week to make any other requests for additional sanctions against the former New York City mayor.
Judge Howell has set a jury trial date for 11 December to determine how much exactly Mr Giuliani must pay for his defamatory statements. All parties – including Mr Giuliani – have been directed to appear in person.
That trial is expected to last three to five days.
Ms Freeman and Ms Moss are seeking unspecified damanges after they endured emotional and reputation harm after Mr Giuliani singled them out during a state legislative hearing in Georgia airing a series of false claims about them, connecting them to an alleged scheme to manipulate the election’s outcome against Mr Trump.
He amplified those claims on social media and other platforms, making their way to the former president himself, who mentioned Ms Freeman’s name 18 times on an infamous call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. He claimed that the women pulled out “what looked to be suitcases or trunks” that were “stuffed with votes” with a “minimum” of “18,000 ballots, all for Biden.”
He called Ms Freeman “a professional vote scammer.”
A trial and potentially crushing financial consequences for his statements are far from the only legal challenges Mr Giuliani is facing. He also was sued by a former attorney who alleges $1.3m in unpaid legal fees and a former associate who accused him of “abuses of power, wide-ranging sexual assault and harassment” and wage theft, among other allegations.
Mr Giuliani has been criminally charged in a sweeping Georgia case connected to Mr Trump’s efforts to subvert the state’s election outcome in 2020. He also is among the former president’s co-conspirators in a federal indictment surrounding Mr Trump’s national pressure campaign to reject lawful election results.