By Andrew Goudsward
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. judge on Tuesday scolded Rudy Giuliani for repeating false accusations of voter fraud against two Georgia election workers in the middle of a defamation trial spurred by similar comments he made in the past.
U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell said Giuliani could face a future defamation claim for remarks he made to reporters on Monday as he left the federal courthouse on the first day of the trial.
Howell has already found Giuliani liable for defamation and other claims for falsely accusing former Fulton County election workers Wandrea “Shaye” Moss and her mother Ruby Freeman of hiding and counting batches of illegal ballots following the 2020 election. The only issue for the jury to decide is how much Giuliani owes in damages.
Giuliani told reporters on Monday outside the courthouse that “everything I said was true” and again accused Moss and Freeman of “changing votes,” according to an ABC News report. Giuliani confirmed in court on Tuesday that he made the statement.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs noted that the judge has already deemed that Giuliani’s prior statements were false and he should not be allowed to challenge that determination during the trial.
Howell said Giuliani’s Monday remarks “could support another defamation claim” and contradicted his lawyer’s statement in court that the workers were “good people.”
The judge said it would be “grossly unfair” for Giuliani to make similar statements when he testifies at trial, which is expected later this week.
Giuliani lawyer Joseph Sibley told the judge that the case has “taken a toll” on the 79-year-old Giuliani, but he would be able to manage his client’s statements in court.
“I can’t control what he says outside the courtroom,” Sibley said.
(Reporting by Andrew Goudsward; Editing by Andy Sullivan and Mark Porter)