A judge has shot down lawyer Rudy Giuliani’s last-ditch effort to eschew a trial by jury determining how much he must pay in damages for defaming two Georgia election workers.
In a court order Sunday night, U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell torched the former personal attorney for Donald Trump over recent complaints he made to the court insisting that a jury trial was “inappropriate” and that a judge should determine the amount he owes election workers Ruby Freeman and Wandrea ArShaye “Shaye” Moss.
“Giuliani’s position that the long-standing jury demand in this case was extinguished when he was found liable on plaintiffs’ claims by default, is wrong as a matter of law,” Howell wrote, noting that the former New York mayor has been aware of the jury trial demand for nearly two years and filed this complaint shortly before the Dec. 11 trial is scheduled to start in Washington, D.C.
In response to Giuliani’s complaint that Freeman and Moss “had the opportunity to forego any of the pretrial work to prepare for a jury trial” once Giuliani informed them he was seeking to avoid a jury trial, Howell fired back Sunday: “This is simply nonsense.”
Freeman and Moss, along with others, first filed their lawsuit against Giuliani in December 2021 after he accused them of “passing around USB ports as if they were vials of heroin or cocaine” and engaging in “surreptitious illegal activity” while handling ballots in the 2020 presidential election in Fulton County, Georgia. In testimony before the House, Moss said she and Freeman were subjected to an onslaught of racist threats following the accusations.
After Giuliani said in July that he didn’t contest the allegations, Howell determined in August that he had forfeited the case and that a jury would determine the extent of punitive damages.
Giuliani is also one of 19 defendants named in the Georgia election interference case against Trump that is scheduled to begin in August 2024. He has been charged with 13 counts related to an alleged wide-ranging conspiracy to overturn the presidential vote in the state.