A federal judge skewered Rudy Giuliani on Tuesday, a day after he went on a tirade outside court, repeating the same lies about the 2020 election that got him sued by a pair of Georgia poll workers in the first place.
Giuliani was grilled by U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell, who said his post-court comments the evening prior “could support another defamation claim.”
Howell found Giuliani liable in August for lying about the poll workers, Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss, by accusing them of manipulating ballots during the 2020 election. Outside the Washington, D.C., courthouse on Monday, Giuliani insisted he still stands by those baseless claims that just might bankrupt him entirely.
“They were engaging in changing votes,” Giuliani said of Moss and Freeman. “When I testify, the whole story will be definitively clear that what I said was true, and that, whatever happened to them—which is unfortunate about other people overreacting—everything I said about them is true.”
He added that he doesn’t regret pushing out the women’s names and claims that they were committing election fraud, saying, “I told the truth. They were engaged in changing votes.”
In court Tuesday, the second day of a jury trial to determine how many millions Giuliani will owe Freeman and Moss in damages, Howell warned Giuliani that he risks bringing further liability upon himself if he repeats those same lies when he testifies.
Before Moss gave heart-wrenching testimony about her personal struggles since Giuliani targeted her, like fearing she’d be attacked and left “dying in the street” as she walked to work, Howell pressed Giuliani’s attorney, Joe Sibley, for answers regarding Giuliani’s behavior.
“Was Mr. Giuliani just playing for the cameras?” Howell asked Sibley at the start of the second day of the trial.
Sibley conceded that Giuliani’s comments were unfortunate, adding that he “can’t control everything he does,” especially outside the courtroom. Later Tuesday, Sibley said in court, “My client, as you saw last night, likes to talk a lot, unfortunately.”
In his opening statements Monday, Sibley insisted that Giuliani was aware he’d done wrong and that the poll workers were “harmed,” but he insisted their harassment, which included death threats and protesters showing up at their front doors, wasn’t the exclusive fault of Giuliani.
“They didn’t deserve what happened to them,” he said Monday. “But what happened to them happened because of a controversy involving a lot of people.”
Sibley’s opening statement was partially contradicted by Giuliani hours later, however, something the defense attorney appeared displeased over.
“I’m not sure how it’s reconcilable,” Sibley acknowledged, referencing Giuliani’s tirade.
Sibley suggested the 79-year-old’s advanced age may play a factor in him acting unhinged. In addition to his post-court outburst, reports revealed that Giuliani remained seated at one point Monday when the courtroom deputy asked everyone to rise for the judge ahead of a break.
“This has taken a bit of a toll on him. He’s almost 80 years old,” Sibley said, adding, “There are health concerns for Mr. Giuliani.”
Howell shot back that she hadn’t seen evidence that Giuliani was struggling to pay attention in court, dismissing that his age was making him act irrationally. She did suggest that she fears Giuliani may act out when asked to follow the court’s instructions, particularly when he testifies later this week.