Judge orders Giuliani to immediately pay $148 million in damages


A federal judge on Wednesday ordered Rudolph W. Giuliani to immediately pay $148 million he owes two former Georgia election workers for falsely accusing them of tampering with ballots after the 2020 election, citing concerns that he could “hide his assets.” ” if he were allowed. wait.

Judge Beryl A. Howell's decision was the latest legal defeat for Giuliani, who faces a host of problems over his efforts three years ago to keep former President Donald J. Trump in office after his election loss. But even though Judge Howell ordered quick payment, there is no indication that Giuliani, whose long-standing financial problems have only intensified, has anywhere near the amount she owes.

On Monday, a few days after a jury in Washington awarded damages to Giuliani, election workers Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss asked Judge Howell to waive the standard 30-day waiting period and force him to Pay them as soon as possible. possible.

In their request to Judge Howell, the women, who are mother and daughter, said Giuliani had already violated other court orders in the case related to money he owed them. They also noted that Giuliani, a former U.S. attorney and mayor of New York, was being pursued by his creditors, including his former lawyer, and was saddled with “significant debts that threatened his personal solvency.”

“There are especially good reasons,” the women's attorneys wrote, “to believe that defendant Giuliani intends to evade payment of the judgment by any means he can devise.”

In a 13-page order, Judge Howell agreed with virtually everything Ms. Freeman and Ms. Moss said about Giuliani, who admitted that he lied about the women before his trial this month to determine damages in the Federal District Court in Washington. . Before the trial began, Judge Howell found Mr. Giuliani liable for defamation, civil conspiracy, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

At trial, Freeman and Moss described how they were subjected to a torrent of racist threats and abuse after Giuliani, then Trump's personal lawyer, ordered his millions of social media followers to watch a video of them at a health center. Georgia vote count, claiming without any basis that Trump was being misled while counting votes on Election Day.

“Giuliani just ruined me, you know,” Freeman told the jury.

Wednesday's decision to accelerate payments was justified, Judge Howell wrote, given Giuliani's history as an “uncooperative litigant.” The judge said he had a history of ignoring her orders to pay the women's legal fees and costs related to requests for discovery materials.

“Giuliani weakly counters concerns that he has concealed assets, stating that there is no evidence in the record of any attempt on his part to dissipate assets,” he wrote. “This statement simply ignores the extensive history in this case of Giuliani's efforts to conceal or conceal his assets.”

While Giuliani could still appeal the damages awarded by the jury, Judge Howell noted that the amount the jurors proposed was actually “conservative.” As part of his appeal, he could request an immediate stop payment, although, as Judge Howell noted, he would still have to post a bond to prove he was eligible to receive at least some of the money if he lost.

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