Giuliani loses bid to dismiss $148 million defamation judgment

Giuliani loses bid to dismiss $148 million defamation judgment

Rudy Giuliani lost his bid on Monday to dismiss the $148 million verdict handed to him last year in a defamation lawsuit brought by two former Georgia election workers.

Giuliani filed for bankruptcy days after a Washington, D.C., jury ordered him to pay $148 million to Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss in a defamation trial in December. He had baselessly accused the two former election workers of committing fraud in the 2020 presidential election.

U.S. District Judge Beryl A. Howell rejected Giuliani’s motion in an order Monday, explaining that Giuliani did not provide enough evidence as to why his verdict should be tossed or why he should be given a new trial.

“Giuliani’s renewed motion urging this Court to reverse its prior findings and rulings and to override the jury’s considered verdict on the basis of five threadbare arguments falls well short of persuading that ‘the evidence and all reasonable inferences that can be drawn therefrom are so one-sided that reasonable men and women could not have reached a verdict in [plaintiffs’] favor.’”

Giuliani appealed the verdict after his bankruptcy judge allowed him to do so in February. Joseph Sibley, Giuliani’s attorney, said in a statement Monday that they will now appeal to the D.C. Circuit Court on the case.

“This was a post-trial motion in the trial court that we were required to file to preserve certain issues for appeal.  We are not at all surprised the trial court did not reverse its own prior rulings and we will now proceed with an appeal to the D.C. Circuit where we look forward to an appellate panel reviewing the case,” Sibley said.

Ted Goodman, a political adviser to Giuliani, said they were not surprised by the judge’s ruling in a statement to The Hill.

“We’re not at all surprised this judge didn’t reverse her own prior ruling. This is the expected outcome from a judge who put partisan politics ahead of justice,” he said.

“This is far from over. We look forward to our appeal with the D.C. Circuit Court, where, if given a fair hearing that isn’t politically motivated, there’s no question the absurd amount of awarded damages will be reversed,” he added.

Attorneys for Giuliani had renewed his motion for judgment as a matter of law in February to the judge who oversaw the trial. His legal team said in court filings that the statements in question were protected under the First Amendment and insisted that they were not made with actual malice.

He was found liable for the case months before the jury convened. The jury only needed to decide how much the former New York City mayor needed to pay in damages.

This story was updated at 10:48 p.m.

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