Two election workers in Fulton County, Georgia., who counted votes in the 2020 presidential election recently filed a defamation lawsuit against the parent company of One America News, senior staff at the TV network and personal lawyer to former President Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani.
Ruby Freeman and her daughter Wandrea “Shaye” Moss allege that One America News (OAN) and Giuliani knowingly spread misinformation about them — including that they logged illegal ballots for Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
The senior staff at One America News includes Chief Executive Robert Herring, President Charles Herring and Chief White House Correspondent Chanel Rion.
Their attorneys say the two women “have become objects of vitriol, threats, and harassment … because of a campaign of malicious lies.”
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The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, also claims “[d]eliberate efforts to spread disinformation about America’s election workers undermine the integrity of American elections … and accordingly, threaten democracy.”
The plaintiffs allege that the news station replayed a misleading video produced by the Trump campaign showing election workers stuffing fraudulent ballots from purportedly hidden “suitcases.” It did not name the workers, although it said “one of them had the name Ruby across her shirt somewhere.”
The women say that Giuliani shared the video on social media and urged his followers to watch. The video did not show any act of nefarious actions.
“OAN, its hosts, and its staff leveraged Giuliani’s unsupported factual assertions and almost immediately published them to millions of its viewers and readers,” their lawyers wrote.
The litigation seeks, in addition to compensatory and punitive damages, to force the defendants to delete false statements about the women from their platforms. Trump and his supporters have repeatedly and falsely claimed that the 2020 election was stolen.
Biden narrowly won Georgia’s 16 electoral votes—the first time a Democratic presidential nominee won there since Bill Clinton in 1992.
It’s the second lawsuit filed by the women this month against defendants they say spread defamatory information about their role in the election. In early December, Freeman and Moss sued Gateway Pundit, a conservative conspiracy website, alleging that the site published false stories about them that they say brought harassment swift enough that they had to change phone numbers and delete social media accounts.
“We know where you live, we coming to get you,” one of the threats read, according to the lawsuit.
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