According to CNN, the federal judge overseeing Rudy Giuliani’s defamation damages trial in Washington, DC, admonished the former Donald Trump lawyer for making “quite defamatory” comments about two Georgia election workers involved in the case. US District Judge Beryl Howell expressed concern that Giuliani’s remarks to reporters outside the federal courthouse in DC could give rise to another defamation claim.
Giuliani, who has already been found liable for defamation and owes over $230,000 to election workers Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss, made the comments following the first day of the trial. He insisted that everything he said about the two women in the aftermath of the 2020 election was true, repeating the false claim that they were “engaged in changing votes.” When challenged by a reporter on the lack of evidence for such an allegation, Giuliani responded with, “Oh, you’re damn right there is. Stay tuned.”
The judge sharply questioned Giuliani’s attorney, Joseph Sibley, about the inconsistency between Giuliani’s statements outside the court and the tone set during the opening statements. Howell asked how Sibley reconciled Giuliani’s claim of criminal conduct by the election workers with the attorney’s earlier statements. Sibley responded that he couldn’t control everything Giuliani does and emphasized Giuliani’s awareness of defamation law.
“How do you reconcile those statements … with his statement yesterday after court that they engaged in criminal conduct?” she asked Sibley.
“I can’t control everything he does, your honor,” Sibley said at one point, adding: “I think Mr. Giuliani is well aware of the law of defamation, your honor.”
The judge also expressed concerns about Giuliani potentially repeating similar comments during his testimony in the trial, stating that it would be “grossly unfair to the plaintiffs.” Howell questioned whether Sibley could prevent his client from making such statements, emphasizing the importance of fairness in the trial process.