Judge orders Rudy Giuliani to detail finances in election defamation suit

Source: Politico | May 19, 2023 | Josh Gerstein

The order comes amid disputes about access to Giuliani’s evidence related to a suit filed by 2020 election poll workers.

A federal judge has ordered Rudy Giuliani to provide a detailed accounting of his finances and net worth in connection with a lawsuit filed by two Georgia poll workers who contend the Trump lawyer defamed them by publicly accusing them of fraud in the 2020 presidential election.

U.S. District Court Judge Beryl Howell issued the order during an unusual hearing Friday on ongoing disputes about access to Giuliani’s evidence related to the suit brought by Ruby Freeman and Wandrea Moss two years ago.

During the nearly 3-hour hearing, Howell repeatedly expressed irritation at having to expend considerable time on the discovery dispute, which she suggested should have been worked out by the parties.

“I can’t say I’m happy about it,” the judge said, later referring to Giuliani’s efforts to search for relevant emails and messages as a “murky mess.”

While the court session explored a variety of issues about evidence in the case, much of the focus was on Giuliani’s claim in a recent court filing that he could not perform further searches of emails and other records stored in an electronic database because the vendor was seeking $320,000 to allow that. The former mayor, U.S. Attorney and Justice Department official said he simply could not afford that sum.

Howell said Giuliani’s “claim of poverty” meant that the plaintiffs were entitled to insight into his finances.

An attorney for Giuliani, Joseph Sibley, said the plaintiffs should not be provided some personal information, like court filings detailing Giuliani’s obligations in his 2019 divorce from his third wife, Judith Nathan.

But Howell said the plaintiffs were entitled to know about Giuliani’s financial condition, including the divorce-related payments, before deciding whether to help foot the bill for document searches in the case. Typically, parties must handle their own costs to comply with discovery obligations.


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