Former Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani files for bankruptcy protection

Former Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani files for bankruptcy protection

Rudy Giuliani filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in New York on Thursday, citing debts that include a nearly $150 million recent civil judgment against him for defaming Georgia election workers while serving as a lawyer for former President Donald Trump.

The filing by Giuliani came a day after a federal judge in Washington, D.C., ordered the former New York City mayor to begin paying the two election workers the damages he owed for their lawsuit and three days after the women filed a new suit seeking to bar him from defaming them again.

The filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan will legally pause, for now, the $146 million defamation judgment in favor of Ruby Freeman and her daughter Shaye Moss, and any other judgments against him.

Giuliani, while representing Trump in efforts to reverse his loss on the heels of the 2020 election, had falsely accused the two election workers of ballot fraud.

The filing estimates he has assets worth between $1 million and $10 million, and estimated current liabilities of between $100 million and $500 million. A worksheet in the filing lists his unsecured, non-priority debts at $151.8 million.

Giuliani listed nearly $1 million in debt to the IRS and New York State Department of Taxation and Finance for unpaid taxes, which would get first right of payment in bankruptcy court.

In addition to the defamation award, he also listed several million dollars in debts to law firms.

The list of non-secured creditors in the filing includes entities and people that are still suing him, among them the Dominion and Smartmatic election machine companies, President Joe Biden‘s son Hunter Biden, and Giuliani’s former employee Noelle Dunphy, who accuses him of sexual harassment and wage theft.

Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code is used by filers to reorganize their debts and come up with a plan to pay their creditors.

He also was sued in September by his former lawyer Robert Costello for $1.36 million in unpaid legal fees dating back to late 2019.

Giuliani’s bankruptcy lawyers in a statement Thursday, said, “The filing should be a surprise to no one.”

“No person could have reasonably believed that Mayor Giuliani would be able to pay such a high punitive amount” from the defamation case, the attorneys, Heath Berger and Gary Fischoff said.

“Chapter 11 will afford Mayor Giuliani the opportunity and time to pursue an appeal, while providing transparency for his finances under the supervision of the bankruptcy court, to ensure all creditors are treated equally and fairly throughout the process,” the lawyers said.

In addition to serving two terms as New York mayor, Giuliani is a former Department of Justice official and former Manhattan U.S. Attorney.

Giuliani was in the final months of his mayoralty on Sept. 11, 2001, when a terror attack leveled the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan.

After being widely lauded for his leadership of the city on the heels of that attack, he made millions of dollars from consulting work and made a failed bid for the White House in 2008.

In recent years, Giuliani has been criticized, sued and prosecuted for his work as Trump’s lawyer, where he has since late 2020 made false claims that Trump lost to Biden only as a result of widespread ballot fraud.

Earlier this year, Giuliani, Trump and 17 other people were charged in Georgia court with crimes related to an alleged conspiracy in their efforts to undo his defeat in that state in the 2020 election. Giuliani has pleaded not guilty in that case, as has Trump and most of the other defendants.

In July, the disciplinary board of the D.C. Bar Association recommended that Giuliani be stripped of his law license as a result of his false election fraud claims.

Giuliani’s law license in New York is suspended due to those claims.

— Additional reporting by CNBC’s Jim Forkin

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