Rudy Giuliani admitted on Tuesday that he made “false” statements about two Georgia election workers as part of a ploy to avoid turning over documents — and potential punishment from the court — in the case.
The move could allow Giuliani to continue defending himself against defamation allegations in the civil suit without having to hand over a potentially critical batch of records to the two Georgia election workers, which encompass his communications during the time when Trump was trying to reverse his loss in the 2020 election.
Giuliani has tried virtually everything to avoid handing the records over, with the judge in the case telling him this month that he risked “severe discovery sanctions” if he continued to refuse to comply.
By no longer disputing the underlying facts of the case, Giuliani may hope to short circuit any further discovery and move straight to legal arguments in the case. It’s not clear whether his last-ditch attempt to avoid complying with his discovery obligations will succeed.
Giuliani continues to maintain that his statements about Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss weren’t defamatory under the law, and refuses to concede that he owes them any of the damages that they seek.
Freeman and Moss have been battling Giuliani over his allegations that the pair of Georgia election workers tampered with ballots during the 2020 election. Giuliani spread a notorious video during the height of of Trump’s attempt to reverse his loss in the 2020 election which, he claimed without evidence and in the face of widespread debunking, showed the two committing election fraud.
Giuliani admitted in a court filing that his statements about the two were “false,” and conceded that while they carried “meaning that is defamatory per se,” they did not inflict any damage or distress on the two Georgia women.
The former NYC mayor and Trump bagman said that he was making the admission so as to “avoid unnecessary expenses in litigating what he believes to be unnecessary disputes.”
The admission, while significant, could allow Giuliani to end a long-running conflict in the case over documents that he has been ordered to provide to the plaintiffs. U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell for the District of Columbia has threatened to sanction Giuliani over his failure to provide the records, which mostly come from a cache of documents that the FBI seized when it raided Giuliani’s home and office in 2021.
Filings in the case in recent weeks have suggested both that Judge Howell has lost her patience with Giuliani, and that the Trump attorney has sought any way to avoid disclosing the contents of the records that Freeman and Moss want to review.
Giuliani said in May that he couldn’t afford to search for the records, which purportedly cover much of his communications from the Stop the Steal period. Judge Howell lodged an order in July “cautioning” Giuliani that if he continued to fail to comply with her order to provide the records, he could face “severe discovery sanctions.”