‘How could you have missed that?’: Giuliani absent at defamation hearing despite court order


Former Mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani speaks to reporters as he leaves his apartment building in New York on Aug. 23, 2023. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Former Mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani speaks to reporters as he leaves his apartment building in New York on Aug. 23, 2023. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

A federal judge slammed an attorney for Rudy Giuliani from the bench Tuesday after the former New York City mayor failed to appear for a hearing tied to the defamation case brought against him by election workers Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss.

“How could you have missed that?” U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell bristled at Giuliani’s attorney Joseph Sibley, Politico reported.

The question was prompted after Sibley told the court he misunderstood an earlier order from the judge that Giuliani must show up in person for the final hearing before the trial determining civil damages gets to a jury next week.

Both Freeman and Moss — who are mother and daughter — sued Giuliani for falsely and repeatedly declaring that they were manipulating ballots at the State Farm Arena in Georgia in 2020, something former President Donald Trump also promoted publicly.

The women were mercilessly tormented, threatened and harassed and were forced to quit their jobs as election workers and for a time, go into hiding.

In court in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, Howell asked Sibley if he was “falling on his sword” for Giuliani by taking the blame for his absence. She had ordered Giuliani to appear in person this September. 

“How could you have missed it … and did you miss it?” Howell said, according to The Hill. 

“I did,” Sibley replied before apologizing.

Jury selection for the trial to determine civil damages starts Monday. Howell found Giuliani liable for damages this August.

In addition to the defamation case, Giuliani is also facing several charges in Georgia where prosecutors say he championed claims of voter fraud baselessly to help Trump win the 2020 election despite his loss to now-President Joe Biden.

On Wednesday, Ted Goodman, a political advisor for Giuliani provided comment to Law&Crime responding to the reaction from Howell.

“The judges’ biases and prejudices are well known and have been demonstrated throughout this case and many others—where the process is the punishment. In the fullness of time, this will be looked at as a dark chapter in America’s justice system as this whole process is doing great, irreparable harm,” Goodman wrote in an email. “I urge members of the legal community and all Americans—across the partisan political spectrum—to stand up and speak out against the weaponization of our justice system against political opponents. Because, while It may be President Trump, Mayor Giuliani, and others you disagree with politically today, it could be you and the people who share your beliefs tomorrow.”

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *