The judge presiding over the upcoming damages trial against Rudy Giuliani said Friday she will tell jurors that the former Trump lawyer intentionally hid financial documents and other records in defiance of court orders.
In a five-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell said the move was necessary given “Giuliani’s continued and flagrant disregard of this Court’s August 30 Order that he produce financial-related documents concerning his personal and his businesses’ past and present assets” and other pertinent information.
That means jurors deciding how much Giuliani should pay two Georgia election workers he defamed will be told they can assume the worst about why the former New York City mayor has failed to turn over the court-ordered records.
“The jury will be instructed that it must, when determining an appropriate sum of compensatory, presumed, and punitive damages, infer that defendant Giuliani was intentionally trying to hide relevant discovery about the Giuliani Businesses’ finances for the purpose of shielding his assets from discovery and artificially deflating his net worth,” the judge wrote.
Additionally, Giuliani and his lawyer will be prohibited “from making any argument, or introducing any evidence, stating or suggesting that he is insolvent, bankrupt, judgment proof, or otherwise unable to defend himself” since he failed to hand over evidence that would show that’s true, the judge wrote.
Giuliani’s attorney and spokesperson did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The ruling is the second in two months where the judge has blasted Giuliani for repeatedly failing to follow court orders and rules in the defamation lawsuit that was brought against him by Georgia election workers Ruby Freeman and her daughter Shaye Moss.
While promoting his client and then-President Donald Trump’s false claims of a rigged 2020 election, Giuliani repeatedly — and falsely — accused Freeman and Moss of election fraud in Fulton County.
Giuliani had claimed the two were “passing around USB ports like they were vials of heroin or cocaine” as they were counting votes. A report published by the House Jan. 6 committee found that they were passing a ginger mint.
Both Freeman and Moss received death threats because of the false accusations.
In August, Howell ruled that Giuliani was liable for defaming the election workers over his repeated refusal to turn over certain documents. The judge then scheduled a Dec. 11 trial for damages, and ordered him to turn over financial information and documents to her lawyers. The trial will be held in Washington, D.C.
In a filing last month, Freeman’s attorneys said Giuliani “failed to take any of the actions” ordered by the court, including turning over $89,000 in legal fees.
“Consistent with his prior track record in this matter, Giuliani failed to file any response,” the judge wrote.
Friday’s ruling comes as Giuliani faces increased legal and financial problems. He’s been charged criminally in the Fulton County racketeering case with Trump and more than a dozen others. All but one of the 19 defendants has pleaded not guilty.
Giuliani’s also being sued by his former lawyers, who allege he owes them about $1.4 million in unpaid legal fees. Giuliani has called the bill excessive.
He also owes the IRS almost $550,000 in unpaid federal taxes. Giuliani spokesperson Ted Goodman said last week that he “has a formal agreement with the IRS to pay off the liability.”
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