In the impending legal battle involving Rudy Giuliani and the forthcoming trial to determine damages, the presiding judge, Beryl Howell, affirmed on Friday her intent to apprise the jury of Mr. Giuliani’s deliberate concealment of financial documentation and other pertinent records, in open defiance of prior court directives.
Within a comprehensive five-page verdict, U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell expounded that this course of action was deemed imperative due to Mr. Giuliani’s unwavering and overt disregard of this court’s edict from August 30th. This edict mandated the production of financial-related documents encompassing both his personal financial affairs and those of his enterprises, in both historical and contemporary contexts, in addition to other salient details.
Consequently, the jurors tasked with determining the quantum of restitution Mr. Giuliani must disburse to two aggrieved Georgia election workers, whom he defamed, will be instructed to infer the most adverse interpretation regarding the reasons behind the former mayor of New York City’s non-compliance with the court’s directive to furnish these records.
Judge Howell’s written statement elucidates, “The jury will be duly instructed that in assessing the appropriate compensation, including compensatory, presumed, and punitive damages, they must presume that the defendant, Mr. Giuliani, deliberately embarked on a path of concealing critical revelations concerning the financial aspects of the Giuliani Enterprises. This course of action appears to have been undertaken with the intention of veiling his assets from legal scrutiny, as well as artificially understating his overall financial worth.”
Furthermore, both Mr. Giuliani and his legal representative will be proscribed from advancing any contentions or proffering evidence that might imply his insolvency, bankruptcy, or incapacity to mount a credible defense. This prohibition stems from his failure to produce evidence substantiating these claims as factual. This directive is expounded upon in Judge Howell’s ruling.
Notably, no official response to these developments has been forthcoming from Mr. Giuliani’s attorney or spokesperson at the time of this writing.
In the defamation case brought by Georgia election workers Ruby Freeman and her daughter Shaye Moss, the judge has already strongly chastised Giuliani twice in as many months for his persistent contempt of court orders and procedural rules.
Giuliani constantly and falsely leveled allegations of election fraud against Freeman and Moss in Fulton County, while zealously promoting his client, former President Donald Trump, and spreading false accusations of electoral misconduct during the 2020 election.
Giuliani claimed that the two people were carelessly handling USB ports and compared their behavior to the sale of illegal drugs like heroin or cocaine, even though a House committee probe on January 6 found that they were only sharing a ginger mint.
It should also be noted that Freeman and Moss suffered life-threatening injuries due to these unsubstantiated and harmful allegations.
Judge Howell ruled in August that Giuliani was liable for vilifying the election workers because he repeatedly ignored court orders to comply. On December 11, she set a trial date for damages and ordered Giuliani to provide financial records and other information to her lawyers. The trial will be held in Washington, DC.
In a recent court filing, Freeman’s legal representation stated that Giuliani had violated all of the court’s orders, including the payment of $89,000 in legal fees.
In keeping with his established pattern of action in this matter, Giuliani failed to respond to the court’s directions, as the judge emphasized in her remarks.
The latest verdict, released on Friday, comes against the backdrop of Giuliani’s mounting legal and financial woes. He is currently charged with racketeering in Fulton County, along with former President Trump and more than a dozen other defendants. It’s worth noting that all but one of the 19 defendants in this case have pled not guilty.
In addition, Giuliani is involved in a lawsuit brought by his former lawyer, who claims he owes unpaid legal fees totaling about $1.4 million. Giuliani has argued that the amount is excessive.
Giuliani also owes the IRS nearly $550,000 in back taxes, which is another outstanding debt. There is a formal agreement with the IRS for the settlement of this financial liability, according to Giuliani’s spokesperson Ted Goodman.