February 29, 2024
Rudy Giuliani departs from US District Courthouse after a verdict was reached in his defamation jury trial on December 15, 2023 in Washington, DC.
Rudy Giuliani departs from US District Courthouse after a verdict was reached in his defamation jury trial on December 15, 2023 in Washington, DC. Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Rudy Giuliani said he felt like the defamation damages trial against him was unfair and tried to downplay his role in the threats he made against Wandrea “Shaye” Moss and her mother, Ruby Freeman.

A jury ordered Giuliani to pay nearly $150 million to the Georgia election workers for the harm caused by defamatory statements he made about them following the 2020 election.

“Very little I can say right now,” he said outside the courtroom after the verdict was read on Friday.

“The absurdity of the number underscores the absurdity of the entire proceedings,” he said, referring to the money he was ordered to pay. He said he felt like he didn’t get to offer evidence in his defense. 

Giuliani, at one point shushing the crowd of reporters, said, “The comments they received, I had nothing to do with.”

He admitted the threats Moss and Freeman testified about receiving were “abominable, they’re deplorable,” but he said it happens a lot in politics and that he receives “comments like that every day.”

“My comments weren’t that,” Giuliani said, asserting the trial was unfair. The former Trump lawyer said he will appeal and possibly move for a new trial.

CNN senior legal analyst Elie Honig pushed back on Giuliani’s assertion that he didn’t get to offer evidence in his defense. Giuliani had already been found liable for defamation, Honig said, meaning he and his lawyer put on paper they were not contesting that part.

“Then in the trial we just had about damages, he had ample opportunity to put in evidence in his own defense. He did put in some evidence in his own defense, he just chose not to take the stand,” Honig said in his analysis.

On the comments that Giuliani said he gets threats every day, Honig said it is not a fair comparison.

“The threats these women received were particularly vile, racist and virulent,” he said. “Rudy Giuliani is a public figure. He puts himself out there.”

“Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss did not make themselves public figures,” Honig added, saying they were civil servants who were just counting votes.

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