During a defamation trial involving Georgia election workers, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani displayed unusual behaviour in court on Monday. Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss filed a complaint naming Giuliani, former President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, as a defendant, accusing him of making false comments about their work during the 2020 presidential election. Giuliani and other Trump supporters have wrongly accused election workers of fraud.
Last week, Judge Beryl Howell chastised Joseph Sibley, Giuliani’s attorney, for failing to present at a pre-trial hearing. Howell questioned Sibley’s seriousness about the proceedings and whether he was “falling on his sword” for Giuliani. The judge also chastised Giuliani for his “willful failure” to turn over case papers.
During Giuliani’s court appearance on Monday, reporters observed his unusual behaviour, such as coming late and making little eye contact with others in the courtroom. During a break, he also remained sitting as everyone else stood for the judge. Furthermore, when Giuliani entered the courthouse, his belt was undone, and he adjusted it in the lift after being notified.
A political consultant to Giuliani issued a statement ahead of the trial stating that the lawsuit was part of an effort to crush political opposition and urging the legal community and Americans to speak out against the weaponization of the justice system.
In addition to the defamation lawsuit, Giuliani and Trump are facing a racketeering accusation in Fulton County, Georgia, for allegedly attempting to overturn Joe Biden’s electoral victory in the state. It is said that Giuliani has spent millions of dollars defending himself in numerous criminal cases and has offered his Upper East Side Manhattan home for sale.
The trial of Freeman and Moss is still proceeding, with jury selection underway to assess damages. The Gateway Pundit, a conservative website, also published a report suggesting that late-night ballot fraud in Georgia in 2020 exonerates Giuliani and implicates FBI Director Christopher Wray. Freeman and Moss previously sued the website for defamation after it published stories accusing them of election fraud.
Overall, Giuliani’s actions in court and the ongoing defamation prosecution underscore the heated aftermath of the 2020 presidential election and the ongoing efforts by some to call its legitimacy into question.