« It will live in history as the theft of a state, » wrote Giuliani.
Freeman and Moss — now in the midst of a lengthy defamation lawsuit against Giuliani — say in new court documents that Giuliani failed to turn over evidence of this exchange despite multiple court orders to preserve and turn over his communications. They are asking the judge in the case, US District Court Judge Beryl Howell, to impose « severe » penalties on Giuliani for what they say is a repeated, sustained and calculated effort to challenge their court-backed evidence claims.
They want Howell to essentially give them a total victory in their libel suit — a “default judgment” in their favor — as a result of Giuliani’s handling of the evidence, as well as the attorney’s fees. If not, they also ask Howell to instead order Giuliani to supply them with his devices so they can be searched directly.
Freeman and Moss have come under relentless attack since late 2020, as Giuliani — and eventually Trump — cited them, sometimes by name, as examples of voter fraud. Although Georgia election officials have repeatedly denied claims that one of their own mishandled ballots, Trump and Giuliani have promoted videos making false claims, part of efforts to stir up a frenzy over Joe Biden’s narrow victory in Georgia. Local prosecutors in Fulton County, Georgia, have been closely examining Trump and Giuliani’s handling of the matter as they consider pressing charges against Trump and others for their efforts to subvert the outcome.
Moss and Freeman’s lawsuit has helped unearth bits of new evidence that could become part of that effort, but they say little comes from Giuliani himself. Their lawyers say they have received evidence from other witnesses — such as Trump ally Christina Bobb — of communications such as the exchange with Epshteyn that Giuliani himself never provided. Bobb also shared an exchange indicating that Giuliani sent the same video of Moss and Freeman to Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers, who was similarly pressured by Trump and Giuliani to help overturn the election results.
“He failed to take Anyone steps to preserve relevant electronic evidence,” the lawyers say, describing a months-long odyssey that featured Giuliani’s shifting explanations for his inability to identify and produce relevant information. He repeatedly cited the Department’s seizure of his devices of Justice – which he claims came back « deleted » – as well as difficulty logging into his iCloud account as the main reasons.
For Giuliani, it’s the latest in a string of legal setbacks, including a recommendation by a disciplinary committee of the DC Bar Association to seek his disbarment for what they described as a serious attempt to undermine American democracy.
A settlement appeared to be within reach just days earlier, when both Giuliani and the plaintiffs’ attorneys asked Howell for a week to finalize the details. But Freeman and Moss now say Giuliani did not agree to the terms negotiated by his lawyer, causing the talks to collapse.
Meanwhile, Freeman and Moss say other witnesses provided missing information that Giuliani should have disclosed. Some came from select committee files dated January 6, which showed Giuliani taking a role in approving statements and announcements referencing the Georgia video.
Still other evidence is not available, lawyers say. One witness Moss and Freeman cited — Katherine Friess, who assisted Giuliani in the efforts after the 2020 election — simply « disappeared, » they say. Efforts to serve her with the subpoena, even through Howell-approved « alternative » means, were unsuccessful. They say they have yet to receive significant evidence related to Giuliani’s « communication plan, » which featured the video of Moss and Freeman as key evidence that the Trump team should highlight to pressure states to reverse the election
Moss and Freeman say they determined that Giuliani learned of the video prior to a Dec. 3, 2020 hearing by Georgia Republicans brought to his attention by Georgia attorney Ray Smith. Within days, Trump’s allies publicly pushed the video as evidence of fraud.
Giuliani has been deeply involved in efforts to promote the video, they say — and Trump, for years since his defeat, has continued to point to the video as evidence despite repeated investigations and widespread evidence belie the claims.
Giuliani’s attorney, as well as a spokesman for Giuliani, were not immediately available for comment.