Former Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani has admitted to making defamatory statements about Georgia election workers Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss in an attempt to settle their lawsuit against him and to comply with the judge’s potential sanctions.
In a court filing made late on Tuesday, Giuliani acknowledged that he does not dispute Freeman and Moss’s claims that he tarnished their reputation after the 2020 election. However, he still aims to assert that his statements regarding voter fraud in Georgia during the 2020 election were protected under free speech.
Despite this filing, the case against Giuliani remains unresolved. Previously, the judge warned him about the possibility of facing severe sanctions or losing the lawsuit due to his failure to adequately provide his own records to Moss and Freeman’s legal team. The judge, Beryl A. Howell of the DC District Court, will need to review Giuliani’s latest filings, which also attempt to explain why he did not thoroughly search his records.
It is not clear how the criminal prosecutors from the Justice Department’s special counsel’s office, who have interviewed Giuliani, will interpret this unusual move in the lawsuit. Giuliani’s carefully worded phrasing in the court filing indicates his intention to have his concessions apply solely to the lawsuit, thereby trying to avoid repercussions from the judge for not fully cooperating with document disclosure.
In the court filing, Giuliani explicitly stated that he “does not contest” the falseness of his claims about the women, whom he accused of being involved in a vote-manipulation scheme in Georgia. He admits that, for the purposes of the litigation, these statements can be considered defamatory.
Following the filing, a political adviser to Giuliani issued a statement explaining that “this issue is a legal matter, not a factual one,” and criticized those attempting “to smear” Giuliani by reporting his admission.