(Bloomberg) — Rudy Giuliani was ordered to pay the attorney fees of two Georgia election workers suing him for defamation, after a judge found he failed to comply with his obligations to turn over evidence in the case.
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US District Judge Beryl Howell entered an order on Friday directing Giuliani to cover what it cost the lawyers for Ruby Freeman and her daughter Wandrea “Shaye” Moss to pursue their successful motion to compel him to produce information.
The order doesn’t specify the amount he’ll owe; the judge directed the plaintiffs to disclose that in a later filing. Howell wrote that Giuliani had failed to show that his resistance to the plaintiffs’ discovery requests was “substantially justified,” which meant he was required to pay their attorney fees.
Freeman and Moss became the subject of 2020 post-election voter fraud conspiracy theories that Giuliani, former President Donald Trump, and other Trump allies promoted. Earlier this week, the Georgia State Election Board announced it had formally cleared Freeman and Moss of any wrongdoing.
Freeman and Moss had sued Giuliani in federal district court in Washington in December 2021. In recent months, their attorneys had argued to Howell that Giuliani was dragging his feet in turning over evidence and had failed to perform adequate searches.
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Giuliani maintained that he tried to fulfill the evidence requests in good faith. But Howell wrote in her latest order that until the fight came before her, Giuliani had “arbitrarily limited” how he searched certain sources of information, performed “imprecise” manual searches of his electronic accounts, and delayed making productions.
“We are pleased with the court’s order, and look forward to our clients having their day in court,” Michael Gottlieb, a lead attorney for Freeman and Moss, said in a statement.
Giuliani’s attorney did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
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