Rudy Giuliani’s ‘discovery misconduct’ in defamation case enables bankruptcy lawyers to request documents on Trump’s ‘legal services,’ cable TV earnings, and other matters

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani was seen addressing reporters outside his apartment building in New York on August 23, 2023.

The bankruptcy case of former NYC mayor, Rudy Giuliani, was already at a critical juncture after a $148 million judgment against him for defaming Georgia election workers. However, his failure to comply with the discovery process in the Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss case is now being used as a basis for an extensive proposed order. This order includes demanding discovery that could potentially reveal the details of Giuliani’s legal services for Donald J. Trump and much more. The stakes have never been higher for Giuliani.

The attorneys representing the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the bankruptcy case have filed a notice of a hearing. The hearing is scheduled to take place before U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Sean Lane at 2 p.m. on April 4. The purpose of the hearing is to discuss the committee’s motion to allow discovery demands to be served via subpoena on Rudy Giuliani, as well as third parties such as his companies, his legal defense funds, his son Andrew Giuliani (the designated agent of the Giuliani Defense legal fund), Maria Ryan, and others.

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Attorney Philip Dublin from the firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP submitted a notice of hearing, requesting that any responses or objections to the motion attached be served and received by the Court and the Committee no later than March 28, 2024, at 4:00 p.m. The notice aims to investigate Giuliani’s assets, liabilities, relevant prepetition conduct, and financial position.

Giuliani’s enormous defamation judgment was a result of his deliberate failure to meet his discovery obligations, which ultimately led to him losing the case by default.

The attorneys have expressed their concerns regarding Giuliani’s ability and willingness to fully comply with his disclosure obligations in the bankruptcy case. They believe that there is a significant doubt surrounding his capacity to meet these requirements, especially considering that the case is set in the same jurisdiction where he gained recognition as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

According to the motion, Giuliani’s misconduct in the Freeman Litigation, specifically his defamatory statements about two Georgia 2020 election workers, led U.S. District Court Judge Beryl A. Howell to issue a $148 million default judgment against him. The motion also highlighted that Judge Howell deemed Giuliani’s misconduct in the Freeman Litigation to be so severe that she immediately dissolved the automatic thirty-day stay of enforcement, allowing the plaintiffs to take immediate action to enforce the judgment.

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According to the filing, the concerns regarding Giuliani’s lack of cooperation persist. Additionally, it highlights the fact that Giuliani faces at least nine pending litigations or outstanding judgments, which could potentially result in damages of up to $4 billion. Due to these circumstances, the filing argues that a more assertive approach is necessary.

According to the motion filed in the Chapter 11 Case, Giuliani claims to possess around $10.6 million in assets. However, this amount is significantly overshadowed by his whopping $153 million in liabilities. The motion further states that considering the substantial magnitude of these liabilities and the pending lawsuits against Giuliani, which are seeking damages of up to $4 billion, he has a strong incentive to persist in his historical pattern of financial obfuscation and misconduct in the discovery process.

In addition to the Freeman judgment he is facing, Giuliani is also dealing with lawsuits from Hunter Biden, Dominion Voting Systems, Smartmatic, and Noelle Dunphy, Giuliani’s former director of business development, who accused him of sexual assault last May. The attorneys representing these parties have already appeared on the docket.

The motion emphasizes the importance of the judge being aware that Giuliani may have a motive to hide assets. It requests a thorough investigation into the origins of the Rudy Giuliani Freedom Fund Legal Defense Trust Fund and Giuliani Defense, which provided significant financial support throughout the Freeman and Hunter Biden cases. The committee’s legal team seeks to understand any connections between these legal defense funds and Giuliani’s businesses, as well as the identities of the donors involved.

The motion further stated that there has been insufficient disclosure regarding the origin of the funds, the relationships between Giuliani and the donors, as well as any historical connection between these assets and Giuliani’s own assets or the Giuliani Businesses.

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The filing also mentioned that some of the asset disclosures made so far have been incomplete or inconsistent. This could be due to vagueness or discrepancies in valuations of items such as New York Yankees World Series rings. Additionally, there were instances where an incorrect address was provided for the Florida property.

Giuliani discloses lumped categories of assets such as “television etc…,” without sufficient itemization. Similarly, the values listed for certain categories—such as “Jewelry,” which includes among other items, a “diamond ring, 3 yankee world series rings,” and 26 luxury watches—are insufficiently itemized and appear to be undervalued. Giuliani claims a total value of $30,000 for this jewelry; yet a single World Series ring may be valued at upwards of $15,000 in its own right. Likewise, Giuliani vaguely discloses “Uber shares”—with no information as to present value, basis, location of those assets, or even the number of shares. Even the address of Giuliani’s Florida property is listed incorrectly.

The committee lawyers suspect that Giuliani and the debtor’s attorneys are intentionally stalling the proceedings with their unresponsive behavior. They argue that in order to fulfill their fiduciary duties and conduct a thorough investigation, they must be granted the relief they are requesting, which includes the opportunity to depose Giuliani.

The committee lawyers have submitted a proposed order to the bankruptcy judge, urging him to compel Giuliani and any other relevant parties to respond to the requests and complete their document productions within 21 days. Judge Lane has been asked to approve this proposal.

The Committee is hereby authorized, pursuant to Rule 2004, to (a) serve document requests as specified below/subpoenas on, and (b) take depositions of, (i) Rudolph W. Giuliani; (ii) Giuliani Partners, LLC; (iii) Giuliani Communications, LLC; (iv) Giuliani Security & Safety, LLC; (v) Giuliani Group, LLC; (vi) Giuliani & Co.; (vii) Rudolph W. Giuliani PLLC; (viii) WorldCapital Payroll Corporation; (ix) Rudy Giuliani Freedom Fund Legal Defense Trust Fund; (x) Giuliani Defense; (xi) Robert Kiger; (xii) Andrew Giuliani; (xiii) Jake Menges; (xiv) Maria Ryan; (xv) Ryan Medrano; (xvi) Joseph Ricci; (xvii) Ted Goodman; (xviii) Michael Ragusa; and (xix) any other party the Committee identifies as possessing information relevant to its investigation into the Debtor’s assets, liabilities, relevant prepetition conduct and financial position.

Among the many requests, individuals demanded documents and communications that would provide sufficient evidence of Giuliani’s annual and monthly earnings from his various media appearances. These appearances include those on cable TV and radio, as well as his podcasts Common Sense (available on YouTube, Rumble, and Spike), Uncovering the Truth, and The Rudy Giuliani Show. Additionally, individuals sought information on his earnings from America’s Mayor Live, which is streamed on platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Gettr, and YouTube.

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Documents were also requested concerning contracts related to business dealings, advertisements, endorsements, or any other sources of income. This includes contracts involving media outlets as well as Giuliani’s upcoming book, “The Biden Crime Family: The Blueprint for Their Prosecution,” which is scheduled to be released in April.

The requested documents and communications seek to uncover information regarding Giuliani’s legal representation of Trump, any outstanding legal fees owed by Trump, and the unsuccessful defamation lawsuit filed by Giuliani against President Joe Biden, which has been referred to as a “Russian pawn.”

12. All Documents and Communications concerning the bases, evidence and work product made in connection with any claims or causes of action that are asserted or assertable by You, including, but not limited to, (i) any claims for unpaid legal fees against Donald J. Trump, (ii) any defamation actions against Joseph R. Biden (iii) any unliquidated and/or contingent claims and causes of action listed in Your Schedules and Statements, and (ii) counterclaims that have been or may be asserted in connection with any pending litigation against You, including, without limitation, the Freeman Litigation, the Biden Litigation, the Dunphy Litigation or the Dominion Litigation. 13. Documents and Communications sufficient to identify the nature of any legal services that you have performed, or continue to perform, for Donald J. Trump.

Law&Crime contacted Ted Goodman, Giuliani’s adviser, before publishing this story to inquire about Giuliani’s stance on the motion. Ted Goodman is one of the individuals that the committee lawyers aim to depose and subpoena for documents.

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