Giuliani concedes to making false statements about Georgia election workers

Rudy Giuliani.
(Image credit: Eric Lee / Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Rudy Giuliani, former lawyer to ex-President Donald Trump, has conceded to making "false" statements about two Georgia election workers — Ruby Freeman and her daughter, Shaye Moss — who claim he defamed them while alleging fraud in the 2020 contest.

"Defendant Giuliani concedes solely for the purposes of this litigation … that Defendant Giuliani made the statements of and concerning plaintiffs," reads the Tuesday court filing, per CNN. "He does not dispute for the purposes of this litigation, that the statements carry meaning that is defamatory per se."

But on Wednesday morning, spokesperson Ted Goodman further clarified — and watered down — the former mayor's intentions, claiming he "did not acknowledge that the statements were false" but rather chose "not to contest" the matter "in order to move on to the portion of the case that will permit a motion to dismiss."

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"This is a legal issue, not a factual issue," Goodman added. "Those out to smear the mayor are ignoring the fact that this stipulation is designed to get to the legal issues of the case."

In other words, Giuliani's acknowledgment is an attempt to "bypass the fact-gathering stage and move on to legal arguments about whether he can be held liable for the damages Moss and Freeman are seeking," Politico explained. He still maintains that his statements in question constitute protected speech, and also refuses to concede that he caused damages to either plaintiff, per CNN.

The concession is likely also intended to end Moss and Freeman's attempts to gather further evidence, like emails and texts, after the presiding judge earlier this month chastised Giuliani for failing to thoroughly procure the appropriate records. "By admitting to the facts," Politico reported, "he says that further efforts by Moss and Freeman to obtain documents and other factual evidence are no longer necessary."

Michael J. Gottlieb, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said his team is happy with the development. "While certain issues, including damages, remain to be decided by the court, our clients are pleased with this major milestone in their fight for justice, and look forward to presenting what remains of this case at trial."

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Brigid Kennedy

Brigid is a staff writer at The Week and a graduate of Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. Her passions include improv comedy, David Fincher films, and breakfast food. She lives in New York.