Georgia poll workers file federal defamation suit against Giuliani and OAN over election fraud claims News
© WikiMedia (Gage Skidmore)
Georgia poll workers file federal defamation suit against Giuliani and OAN over election fraud claims

Two Georgia election workers filed a complaint Thursday in the US District Court for the District of Columbia against Rudy Giuliani and One America News Network (“OAN”) for promoting claims that they engaged in election fraud during the vote-counting process in the state of Georgia during the 2020 presidential election.

The suit surfaces from an edited video published by former President Donald Trump’s campaign that showed unidentified persons, including individuals later identified as Ruby Freeman and Wandrea Moss (“the plaintiffs”), counting ballots. According the suit, the Trump campaign and Giuliani posted the edited footage, taken from a grainy security camera, “to fabricate the lies that Freeman and Moss were illegally counting ballots.”

OAN, its hosts and its staff is then alleged to have “leveraged Giuliani’s unsupported factual assertions and almost immediately published them to millions of its viewers and readers,” revealing Moss and Freeman’s identities and leveling additional accusations of criminal fraud against them.

Specifically, the suit claims that Giuliani and Trump’s legal team initiated the lie that election workers illegally instructed observers to leave and counted thousands of fraudulent ballots unobserved, and OAN And Giuliani amplified the lie. The suit further claims that because of Giuliani and OAN’s (“the defendants”) actions, Freeman and Moss became scapegoats and targets of vitriol, threats, and harassment. The suit further claims:

Defendants knew about and recklessly disregarded Georgia election officials’ clear refutation of Giuliani’s claims. Even after the claims about Ms. Freeman and Ms. Moss had been publicly discredited, Defendants continued to repeat and republish the false and defamatory statements, including to this day: Giuliani appeared on OAN on December 10, 2021, to reprise his lies. With no concern for the truth or the consequences of their willful conduct, Defendants baselessly portrayed Plaintiffs as traitors who participated in a carefully planned conspiracy to steal the presidential election in Georgia.

Rejecting all of the accusations advanced against them as false and because the defendants’ false statements accused the plaintiffs of criminal conduct, Moss and Freeman argue that the statements are defamatory per se.

Altogether, the plaintiffs have charged four claims against the defendants: defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and civil conspiracy and aiding and abetting claims with respect to the said tort claims.

Among other things, the plaintiffs seek compensatory damages, including general, actual, consequential, and special damages, in an amount to be determined at trial; punitive damages; nominal damages; reasonable and necessary attorneys’ fees and costs of suit; pre-judgment and post-judgment interest at the highest legally allowable rates.