Two Georgia election officials are suing the parent company of news outlet One America News Network and former President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani over election fraud claims following the 2020 presidential election.
Wandrea Moss, a voter registration officer, and her mother, elections temp worker Ruby Freeman, said they were harassed as a result of claims peddled by the network and Mr. Giuliani in the wake of the election.
The mother-daughter pair named OAN’s parent, Herring Networks, Herring’s CEO Robert Herring, President Charles Herring and OAN reporter Chanel Rion as defendants in the defamation suit. Giuliani is also listed as a defendant.
Mr. Giuliani and OAN did not respond to The Washington Times’ request for comment.
In their complaint filed Thursday, Ms. Moss and Ms. Freeman allege the defendants “worked together to publish false statements” accusing them of committing election fraud.
They said as a result of the allegedly defamatory claims, they were subject to a series of threats including threatening phone calls and harassment on social media.
Ms. Moss also claims that on at least two occasions, strangers arrived at her grandmother’s residence with the intent of making a “citizens’ arrest.”
“As a result of their vital service, Ms. Freeman and Ms. Moss have become the objects of vitriol, threats, and harassment,” the complaint said “They found themselves in this unenviable position not based on anything they did, but instead because of a campaign of malicious lies designed to accuse them of interfering with a fair and impartial election, which is precisely what each of them swore an oath to protect.”
The complaint focuses on several claims they say Mr. Giuliani and OAN falsely made regarding Georgia’s election, including claims that election officials barred observers from overseeing the counting of ballots, double-counted ballots in favor of Mr. Biden, introduced illegal ballots during the vote count, and “surreptitiously” passed flash drives that were illegally inserted into voting machines.
Georgia elections officials investigated various claims of fraud in the 2020 vote count and found no wrongdoing.
The plaintiffs also took shots at OAN in the complaint, alleging that the network “sought to brand itself as the ‘Trump Station,’” and said Mr. Giuliani repeatedly took to OAN’s airwaves to peddle election fraud claims.
“With knowledge that the claims against Ms. Freeman and Ms. Moss were not based in fact, OAN has spent the past year accusing them of engaging in the illegal act of election fraud, along with other false allegations,” the complaint reads. “As part of that campaign, OAN repeatedly turned to Giuliani, a member of former President Trump’s campaign team and one of the central orchestrators of the conspiracy theory that the 2020 election was rigged.”
Mr. Herring told Reuters that his network did nothing wrong.
“I’m laughing about the four or five others who are suing me,” he said. “Eventually, it will turn on them and go the other way.”
Ms. Moss and Ms. Freeman filed a similar defamation suit against Gateway Pundit, a conservative website, earlier this month.
• Joseph Clark can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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