In July, Rudy Giuliani admitted to making false statements about two Georgia election workers, Ruby Freeman and Wandrea "Shaye" Moss. Among other defamatory statements about Freeman and Moss, Giuliani said Moss passed a thumb drive to Freeman "like they were vials of heroin or cocaine." But in a sworn testimony to Congress, Moss said Freeman (who is Moss's mother) had given her a ginger mint. Giuliani also showed a video that he falsely claimed showed the two women manipulating "suitcases" of fraudulent ballots. As a result of Giuliani's defamatory accusations, the two women have been subject to harassment, intimidation, and death threats.
On August 30, Federal Judge Beryl Howell entered a default judgment against Giuliani, finding him liable for defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, civil conspiracy, and claims for punitive damages. Giuliani did not attend the trial.
However, yesterday, Judge Howell ordered Giuliani to be present for the remainder of the trial, during which the amount of damages Giuliani will have to pay will be determined.
From The Hill:
U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell, who is overseeing the case, last month found Giuliani civilly liable by default for defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress and civil conspiracy after he refused to turn over discovery.
Howell suggested Giuliani may have resisted doing so to avoid legal exposure in other cases. He was indicted alongside former President Trump in the Georgia election subversion case last month. They pleaded not guilty.
"Perhaps, he has made the calculation that his overall litigation risks are minimized by not complying with his discovery obligations in this case," Howell wrote. "Whatever the reason, obligations are case specific and withholding required discovery in this case has consequences."
Giuliani, who appears to be in financial straits, is also facing a number of other lawsuits and criminal charges and was recently accused of groping a Trump aide on the day of the January 6 insurrection.