Jan 18, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Georgia election workers argue Giuliani can't "have his cake and eat it" with bankruptcy filing

Rudy Giuliani, the former personal lawyer for former U.S. President Donald Trump, departs from the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. District Courthouse

Rudy Giuliani departs from the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. District Courthouse in Dec. 2023. Photo: Andrew Thomas/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Georgia election workers who won a $148 million defamation case against Rudy Giuliani filed an objection Thursday to Giuliani's bid to use his bankruptcy claim to appeal the case.

Why it matters: The massive multimillion-dollar penalty added to a host of legal fees and financial troubles facing Giuliani as a result of cases related to lies about the 2020 election.

Catch up quick: On Dec. 15 a jury ordered Giuliani to pay Fulton County election workers Ruby Freeman and her daughter Shaye Moss $148 million in damages for defaming them.

State of play: By filing for bankruptcy, Giuliani was granted an immediate pause from having to pay the penalty to Freeman and Moss, per CNN.

  • However, Giuliani also sought an exception from the stay in order to be able to appeal the defamation case and possibly request a new trial, per Law and Crime.
  • This effort is a bid by Giuliani to "have his cake and eat it too," lawyers for Freeman and Moss wrote in the court filing Thursday.

What's more: Judge Beryl Howell issued a default judgment against Giuliani in the case due to the former New York City mayor's repeated refusal to turn in electronically stored documents and other evidence requested by Freeman and Moss's lawyers, per CNBC.

  • It is therefore the "height of irony" that Giuliani would seek an appeal, given that he was given "every opportunity to defend himself and chose not to participate," the lawyers wrote Thursday.
  • Disputing the legal basis of Giuliani's request, the lawyers added that Giuliani "cannot simultaneously use the automatic stay as a shield to hold off creditors and as a sword to gut their legal rights."
  • Giuliani's notion calls into question the "good faith" of his Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, they added.

Worth noting: Shortly after being awarded $148 million in damages, Freeman and Moss filed another lawsuit against Giuliani to stop him from repeating claims that they engaged in election interference in 2020.

  • In the filing Thursday, their lawyers argue that Giuliani has continued to defame Freeman and Moss "before, during, and after the damages trial."
  • The filing highlighted Giuliani's Jan. 5 appearance on his "America's Mayor Live" show, in which he repeated previous allegations of ballot fraud.

Go deeper: Giuliani ordered to pay $148 million for defaming Georgia election workers

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