Poll Workers Sue Giuliani, OAN Over Election Fraud Claims Triggering 'Vitriol, Threats, Harassment'
10:37 GMT 24.12.2021 (Updated: 10:38 GMT 24.12.2021)
© AP Photo / Marcio Jose SanchezAn official ballot drop box is seen Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020, in Santa Clarita, Calif.
© AP Photo / Marcio Jose Sanchez
The Georgia election workers also filed a defamation lawsuit on 2 December against conservative website The Gateway Pundit, accusing it of knowingly publishing false stories saying they engaged in ballot fraud during the November 2020 presidential elections.
Two former Georgia election workers are suing ex-president Donald Trump’s adviser Rudy Giuliani, One America News Network (OAN) and several of the network’s top executives over unsubstantiated claims of election fraud in 2020 that endangered their lives.
According to Ruby Freeman and Wandrea “Shaye” Moss, her daughter, who counted ballots at State Farm Arena, Fulton County, Ga., during the November 2020 presidential election, as poll workers they had been the victims of a series of conspiracy theories that left them in physical danger.
The lawsuit filed in Washington, D.C., on 23 December, accuses the ex-New York City mayor and several top employees of the California-based cable news network with close ties to the then-POTUS of spreading accusations that they had miscounted ballots in Georgia.
In its broadcasts, OAN had circulated “edited” security camera footage of the two women in early December 2020 counting absentee and military ballots, according to the lawsuit. Georgia election officials had waded in at the time to debunk the claims of fraud and state that the suitcases in the footage did not contain falsified ballots.
Gabriel Sterling, a senior official in the Georgia secretary of state office had tweeted that the 90 second video of election workers showed “normal ballot processing”.
Donald Trump himself had slammed Ruby Freeman as a "professional vote scammer and hustler" in the phone call he made to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on 2 January.
6 November 2020, 05:29 GMT
Trump repeatedly insisted that he had won the state by “hundreds of thousands of votes”, and pressured his fellow Republican to “find more votes” in the call, with Georgia’s Secretary of State firmly rejecting the demands.
“As a result of their vital service, Ms. Freeman and Ms. Moss have become the objects of vitriol, threats, and harassment… They found themselves in this unenviable position not based on anything they did, but instead because of a campaign of malicious lies designed to accuse them of interfering with a fair and impartial election, which is precisely what each of them swore an oath to protect,” stated the lawsuit.
It was claimed that Ruby Freeman had received harassing emails, texts and calls, including a Christmas card that read, "You deserve to go to jail, you worthless piece of sh*t wh*re."
According to Shaye Moss, strangers had arrived to the house twice to attempt to make a "citizen's arrest."
"Both women are afraid to live normal lives… Ms. Freeman is fearful when she hears her name called in public; Ms. Moss now fears risking even a visit to the grocery store and must get her groceries delivered instead. Defendants have inflicted, and continue to inflict, severe and ongoing emotional and economic damage," said the lawsuit.
Ruby Freeman claimed she had been forced to shut down her online business and, at recommendations from the FBI, leave her home for several months.
“With no concern for the truth or the consequences of their willful conduct, Defendants baselessly portrayed Plaintiffs as traitors who participated in a carefully planned conspiracy to steal the presidential election in Georgia,” summed up the lawsuit.
Weeks earlier, the mother and daughter filed a similar lawsuit against the Gateway Pundit conservative website, which they accused of engaging in a “campaign of lies” that triggered “online and in-person harassment against the two women”.
The falsehoods “have not only devastated their personal and professional reputations but instigated a deluge of intimidation, harassment, and threats that has forced them to change their phone numbers, delete their online accounts, and fear for their physical safety,” the lawsuit stated.
Joe Biden claimed victory over Donald Trump by a margin of 12,670 votes. Georgia recertified its presidential election results finding Joe Biden as the winner following three counts of ballots.
The former president has alleged that the November 2020 election was “stolen” from him via manipulations involving electronic Dominion voting machines and mail-in ballots in key swing states such as Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. However, state courts have refused to hear his campaign’s claims.