Like most Americans, I found solace in New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s outstanding leadership after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack against America. It led to his well-deserved designation as “America’s Mayor.”
Twenty-two years later and his widely-embraced moniker is tarnished beyond recognition.
No, it is not about political affiliation or embarrassing moments like sweating streams of hair dye at a press conference or appearing as a dupe in a Sasha Baron Cohen film.
None of that invalidates his honorary title. However, targeting innocent election workers by falsely accusing them of election fraud in order to interfere with the peaceful transfer of power is another matter altogether.
His false allegations of fraud against Georgia election workers Ruby Freeman and daughter Shaye Moss led to death threats against these women who did nothing wrong. There is absolutely no evidence to support his claims, which have been repeatedly disproven and discredited by Georgia election officials.
His false charges were used as fodder for Trump in his Jan. 2, 2021 call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger, in which he was pressured to “find 11,780 votes” to change the state’s election result in Trump’s favor.
During the call, Trump singled out Ruby Freeman, calling the 62-year-old grandmother a “professional vote scammer” who “stuffed the ballot boxes.”
“Do you know how it feels to have the president of the United States to target you? The president of the United States is supposed to represent every American. Not to target one,” Freeman said. “He targeted me. A proud American citizen who stood up to help Fulton County run an election in the middle of a pandemic.” Like his cold-blooded benefactor, America’s Mayor appears to be unencumbered by guilt or shame.
In their 2021 study “Anatomy of a Death Threat,” Reuters News documented more than 850 threatening and hostile messages directed at election workers and officials. The threats were associated with Donald Trump’s false claim that the election he lost was rigged and stolen.
Fast forward to a court filing on July 25, 2023, America’s Mayor confessed that he “falsely accused Ruby Freeman and her daughter Shaye Moss, of mishandling ballots during the 2020 election. As a result of his accusations, Freeman and Moss filed a defamation lawsuit against Giuliani,” reported Valencia Jones for CW69 Atlanta.
“Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss honorably performed their civic duties in the 2020 presidential election in full compliance with the law; and the allegations of election fraud he and former-President Trump made against them have been false since day one,” remarked their lead attorney Michael J. Gottlieb.
America’s Mayor, whose law license was suspended in New York, faces additional defamation lawsuits regarding his claims of voter fraud against Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic.
America’s Mayor is a spineless bully who used the power of the White House to crush the lives of two innocent African American women, bringing fear and trauma into their lives. They have been subjected to doxing (publishing identifying information about them with ill-intention), suspicious looks by neighbors, death threats, menacing banging on their doors all hours of the day and night, seriously compromising their peace and mental health.
After reviewing several threatening messages to election officials, Georgetown University law professor Erica Hashimoto stated, “I’d be terrified by some of these messages, but if it’s protected by the First Amendment, there’s basically nothing you can do about it.
How it makes a person feel doesn’t really make a difference.” However, advises the Brennan Center for Justice, there is a civil rights law that could be used to indict those who interfere with one’s voting rights.
The law (Section 241 of Title 18 of the U.S. Code) dates to the Reconstruction era. Its focus is on criminalizing conspiracies that “injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person from freely exercising a constitutional right.”
These were the first of several Enforcement Acts known as the Ku Klux Klan Acts that were enacted to authorize the federal government to protect the civil and political rights of individuals.
“The law doesn’t require a conspiracy to be successful for it to be considered a crime,” Brennan Center reporters Sean Morales-Doyle and Gabriella Sanchez explain.
“While historically used to prosecute the Klan for deterring Black Americans from exercising their voting rights, the law has been applied to punish broader efforts to subvert election outcomes for over a century,” efforts like those undertaken by America’s Mayor, they said.
America’s Mayor no more.