Two Georgia election workers who were the target of vote-rigging conspiracy theories have sued the far-right One America News Network (OANN), its top executives, and Donald Trump’s former lawyer Rudy Giuliani for allegedly spreading lies about them.
The defamation lawsuit was filed on Thursday in federal court in Washington, D.C., by Wandrea “Shaye” Moss, a voter registration officer in Fulton County, and her mother, Ruby Freeman, who was a temp worker for the 2020 election.
It’s the second suit filed this month by Moss and Freeman, who also sued the Gateway Pundit, alleging the far-right website’s unfounded reports incited months of death threats and harassment against them. The OANN and Gateway Pundit lawsuits both revolve around false allegations first raised by a volunteer Trump campaign attorney at a December 3rd hearing of Georgia state legislators. Freeman and Moss worked in heavily Democratic Fulton County, which includes Atlanta, where a strong showing by Joe Biden helped give him the narrow Georgia victory.
— 🇵🇷🇺🇸Liberal Puerto Rican🇵🇷🇺🇸 (@fralvarado114) December 23, 2021
The lawsuit targets San Diego-based Herring Networks, which owns and operates One America News Network, as well as the channel’s chief executive Robert Herring, president Charles Herring, and reporter Chanel Rion. Giuliani was also named as a defendant, as he has frequently appeared on OANN’s programs and has been one of the biggest promoters of Trump’s false claims that voter fraud cost him the 2020 election.
NEW: Two Georgia election workers targeted by conspiracy theories are suing OANN and Rudy Giuliani. They say the false claims led people to show up at their homes, send threatening Christmas cards and harass them relentlessly. One says she had to flee her home for two months. pic.twitter.com/fwc0RG7YG0
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) December 23, 2021
The complaint alleges that OANN broadcast stories in which Moss and Freeman were falsely accused of conspiring to produce secret batches of illegal ballots and running them through voting machines to help then-candidate Joe Biden defeat Trump. There is no evidence to support such claims, which have been repeatedly debunked by Georgia election officials. In early January, Trump himself singled out Freeman, by name, 18 times in a telephone call in which he pressed Georgia officials to alter the state’s results. He falsely described Freeman as a “known political operative” who “stuffed the ballot boxes.”
It's a complete disgrace that grifting, treacherous black republicans like Harrison Floyd and Trevian Kutti in Georgia would throw other innocent black people like Ruby Freeman under the bus for racist Trump. They deserve to look over their shoulders for DA Fani Willis forever.
— Larry Middleton – Unapologetically Black (@l78lancer) December 22, 2021
According to the complaint, Giuliani then “amplified the video by posting about it on social media,” while “OANN, its hosts, and its staff” took Giuliani’s assertions and “published them to millions of its viewers and readers.” Freeman eventually had to leave her home and go into hiding due to threats she received, including Trump supporters showing up at her door at all hours and verbally threatening her.
Holy fucking hell! Watching Rachel Maddow & been following the Ruby Freeman story & each time it just gets worse & worse! That fucking orange twit needs to be thrown in jail yesterday & the key thrown away! My heart hurts for Ruby.
— Jennie Moore (@moorejennie78) December 23, 2021