No verdict on first day of deliberations in Giuliani defamation case

A jury of eight will continue deliberating on Friday about how much former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani will pay for the defamation Georgia election workers.

The jury spent hours deliberating on Thursday, but was sent home around 5 p.m.

The damages stem from Giuliani’s public statements after the 2020 election in which he accused the workers of altering votes. Giuliani made the claims while serving as an election attorney for then-President Donald Trump.

Georgia was among a handful of states Trump narrowly lost in 2020. His campaign then claimed the results were rigged, even though Republican election officials disputed the claims.

Giuliani had hinted that he would testify, telling reporters Wednesday, “I said the truth will come out; the truth will come out. I didn’t say when, so it will come out and it will come out very, very shortly.” However, it was revealed on Thursday that the former mayor would not take the stand. 

This decision not to testify came after Ruby Freeman, one of the plaintiffs in this case, gave very emotional testimony that lasted 80 minutes. 

Freeman cried on the witness stand as she talked about how her life has changed since Giuliani spread lies claiming she committed ballot fraud. She said she got hundreds of messages, some threatening and racist. Some of the messages were played for jurors on Wednesday.

U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell has determined that he is liable for defamation. It will now be up to the jury of eight to determine just how much in damages Giuliani will have to pay.

It could range anywhere from $17 million all the way up to $47 million.