Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump's former lawyer, has conceded to a long-running defamation lawsuit by two Georgia election workers.
In court filings late Tuesday, Giuliani said he does not contest that his statements about Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss were false and carry meaning that is defamatory.
Giuliani has come under intense scrutiny for his involvement in Trump’s false claims of election fraud in 2020, an effort that has included allegations he spread about Frey and Moss that fed a torrent of public attacks.
The pair has asserted in their lawsuit that Giuliani’s attacks were "intended to inflict emotional distress" and that his false claims damaged their livelihoods.
The concessions in the lawsuit come as Special Counsel Jack Smith appears poised to charge Trump and others for their efforts to undermine the election. Giuliani and his former NYPD Commissioner Bernard Kerik have both sat for proffer sessions with Smith’s investigators.
Insignia Law Group partner Matthew C. Curley, a lawyer for Frey and Moss, called Giuliani's concessions in the case a major milestone in their fight for justice.
“He has finally acknowledged that all of his claims about our clients were false and defamatory,” Curley said. “Mayor Giuliani may have been trying to dodge the facts of the case by entering into this stipulation but it’s simply not going to work.”
Giuliani has maintained that his comments were lawfully protected as opinions but, in his statement, conceded that those opinions can carry meaning that is defamatory. He also contended that any mishandling of documents or other evidence was out of his hands as his devices were seized in 2021.
U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell had threatened severe sanctions on Giuliani over claims that he failed to preserve evidence related to the case. Giuliani's latest filing was an effort to avoid further legal pain and bypass the fact-finding stage and move on to legal arguments about liability.
Trump's former attorney's legal troubles are far from over. Smith continues to look into Giuliani’s involvement in the election efforts and he’s also under pressure from Howell to provide more documents in the slander suit.
In a statement following Giuliani's filing, his aide Ted Goodman insisted the concessions were just an effort to get to the legal issues of the case and defended his client's record.
“Those out to smear the mayor are ignoring the fact that this stipulation is designed to get to the legal issues of the case,” Goodman said.
For now, Giuliani's legal victory remains to be seen, but this case has already revealed a great deal of information about the inner workings of Trump's efforts to contest the election in 2020. It remains to be seen what further knowledge this suit will yield.