The two election workers–a mother-daughter-duo–were forced into hiding after Giuliani circulated baseless rumors that they had carried briefcases full of “illegal ballots.”
A federal judge has refused to dismiss a lawsuit against former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, in which two Black election workers from Georgia claimed that Giuliani falsely accused them of facilitating voter fraud.
According to POLITICO, U.S. District Court Chief Judge Beryl Howell found that the plaintiffs had provided adequate evidence to support and advance their claim. In her 27-page opinion, Howell wrote that the election workers—Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss, a mother-daughter duo—had presented “ample circumstantial evidence of a civil conspiracy between Giuliani and members of the Trump Campaign.”
Howell characterized Giuliani as “a current media personality and former politician once dubbed ‘America’s mayor’,” noting that Giuliani—himself an attorney—is a prominent Trump supporter who played a key role propagating unsubstantiated claims of election fraud.
In their lawsuit, Moss and Freeman said that they were repeatedly accused by former President Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani, and their associates of election fraud.
Giuliani, for instance, pointed to surveillance camera footage taken from inside an Atlanta vote tabulation center, in which the two women could be seen moving objects resembling briefcases—briefcases that Giuliani claimed were filled with “illegal” ballots.
However, upon reviewing the claim, state and federal investigators found that Moss and Freeman were simply performing their ordinary election-related duties.
Howell, notes POLITICO, appeared at least somewhat sympathetic to Moss and Freeman’s position: in her opinion, Howell said that the allegations leveled against the two election workers were part of a “strategic plan” engineered by Giuliani.
Giuliani’s plan, Howell suggested, fomented widespread distrust in the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.
Howell observed that, in a phone call between Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and then-President Donald Trump, Raffensperger appeared to bemoan Giuliani’s use of the surveillance camera footage.
“I think it’s extremely unfortunate that Rudy Giuliani or his people, they sliced and diced that video and took it out of context,” Raffensperger said.
The consequences of Giuliani’s alleged conspiracy were profound.
Giuliani, for example, falsely told Trump supporters that Freeman had been arrested during or after the initial voter fraud investigation.
Both Freeman and Moss later fled their home and went into hiding at the F.B.I.’s recommendation.
“These allegations at least plausibly suggest that Giuliani fabricated Freeman’s arrest and criminal record out of whole cloth,” Howell wrote.
“A reasonable jury could accordingly infer that Giuliani, Trump, and the ‘[k]ey [t]eam [m]embers’ listed in the Strategic Plan, created a plan to sow doubt in the outcome of the 2020 election by launching a misinformation campaign, which included accusing Freeman, Moss, and others of participating in schemes of electoral fraud, and injuring plaintiffs in the process,” Howell found.