Rudy Giuliani has finally conceded to making “false” statements about two Georgia election workers, part of efforts to overturn the state’s presidential election results in 2020.
Giuliani, then acting as former President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, for months accused election workers Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss of election fraud. The man once known as “America’s mayor” insisted that security footage of the pair proved that thousands of ballots in Georgia were mishandled or sabotaged.
His claims have been widely and repeatedly disproven by both state and federal investigators, but Trump and his allies have held up Giuliani’s statements as evidence the 2020 election was rigged. Freeman and Moss sued Giuliani for defamation and told the House January 6 investigative committee that they have faced threats and experienced damage to their livelihoods as a result of Trump and Giuliani’s actions.
But in a Tuesday night court filing in the defamation case, Giuliani at long last conceded that his claims were “false”—although he worded his admission in a way to meet the barest minimum level of accountability.
“Defendant Giuliani made the statements of and concerning Plaintiffs … and he does not dispute for the purposes of this litigation, that the statements carry meaning that is defamatory,” the filing said.
“Defendant Giuliani, for the purposes of this litigation only, does not contest that, to the extent the statements were statements of fact and other wise actionable, such actionable factual statements were false.”
Giuliani seems to be slipping in his stance on the 2020 election. In addition to this concession, he also met in June with special counsel Jack Smith, who is investigating Trump for mishandling classified documents and trying to overturn the election. The fact that the slavishly loyal Giuliani agreed to meet with Smith could be a sign he is about to—or has already—flipped on Trump. (Giuliani has denied flipping thus far.)
But Giuliani insisted in Tuesday’s filing that he only made the concession to move the lawsuit along and that he believes he still has legal defenses in the case that he intends to pursue. His adviser Ted Goodman said in a statement, “This is a legal issue, not a factual issue. Those out to smear the mayor are ignoring the fact that this stipulation is designed to get to the legal issues of the case.”
Giuliani is already under fire on multiple fronts, including in this defamation case. The presiding judge, U.S. District Court Judge Beryl Howell, threatened to sanction him over claims that he failed to preserve evidence related to the case.
Separately, Giuliani has been accused of promising to pay a woman a $1 million annual salary to be his aide but instead raping and abusing her for years. His accuser also alleges that Giuliani plotted to sell pardons to criminals. And earlier this month, a court panel called for Giuliani to be disbarred for his efforts to overturn the 2020 election.