Rudy Giuliani now won’t testify in defamation trial brought by former Georgia election workers

(CNN) — Former Donald Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani will no longer testify in his defamation damages trial over how much he should pay two Georgia election workers millions of dollars in damages for spreading conspiracy theories about them after the 2020 election.

A spokesman for Giuliani confirmed to CNN that the former New York mayor will not testify.

The decision not to appear comes after the Georgia election workers – Ruby Freeman and her daughter, Shaye Moss – provided gut-wrenching testimony over the course of two days about how the lies spread by him damaged their reputations and upended their lives.

Freeman and Moss are asking an eight-person jury in Washington, DC, to order Giuliani to pay them millions of dollars in damages for the emotional and reputational harm they say they’ve suffered.

The case has refocused attention on the human impact of disinformation spread by Trump and his allies after the 2020 election as the former president awaits his own criminal trial in the same courthouse.

Giuliani has already been found liable for defamation and owes Freeman and Moss  over $230,000 after failing to respond to parts of their lawsuit.

In emotional testimony Wednesday, Freeman described the flood of threats she received after Giuliani disseminated lies about her and her daughter. At one point, her attorney had her review for the jury some of the racist messages she received following the 2020 election.

“Hope they lock you up and throw away the key, you disgusting B*tch traitor,” one of the messages read.

“I received so many on my phone that at one time my phone crashed and just died,” Freeman testified.

She appeared visibly shaken as the various messages were shown. She read aloud from some of them, at times appearing to hold back tears.

“Pack your s–t. They are coming for you. I’m not far behind. I’m coming for you also. Trash will be taken to the street in bags,” another read.

“I took it as though they were going to cut me up and put me into trash bags and take it out to my street,” Freeman said.

A day earlier, Moss similarly walked the jury through how her life has changed after Giuliani began attacking the two women.

“It feels like I’m trapped under someone else’s boot of power,” she testified Tuesday. “I can’t do anything, I feel helpless, and the only thing that’s surrounding me is the lies.”

While Giuliani conceded in July that he did make defamatory statements about Moss and Freeman, he attempted to argue that his statements did not cause any damage to the two women and that his comments about voter fraud in Georgia in the 2020 election were protected speech.

During opening statements on Monday, his attorney Joseph Sibley acknowledged that some harm was done to Freeman and Moss and that the jury would be awarding damages against his client. But he argued that the amount sought by the plaintiffs far exceeded what Giuliani should have to pay them as a result of his conduct.

Sibley said at one point that what the plaintiffs are asking for in damages is “the civil equivalent of the death penalty.”

“They’re trying to end Mr. Giuliani,” he told the jury.

This story has been updated with additional developments.

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