Court Battles

Giuliani sues Biden for defamation over ‘Russian pawn’ remark

Rudy Giuliani sued President Biden for defamation Wednesday over his comments calling the former New York City mayor a “Russian pawn” during a 2020 presidential debate.

The 16-page lawsuit, filed in New Hampshire state court, names Biden, his campaign and several fundraising committees as defendants, taking aim at two statements Biden made during the final presidential debate against former President Trump on Oct. 22, 2020.

In the first statement, Biden was answering a question about combating foreign election interference when, after some hesitation, he mentioned Giuliani.

“Well I won’t get — I shouldn’t — well, I will,” Biden said.

“His buddy, Rudy Giuliani,” Biden continued, referring to the close Trump ally. “He’s being used as a Russian pawn. He is being fed information that is Russian — that is not true.”

Giuliani’s lawsuit alleges the statement “falsely claimed and depicted the Plaintiff to our nation as a liar.”

Later in the debate, after Trump mentioned the “laptop from hell,” referring to the infamous Hunter Biden laptop story that had surfaced days earlier, then-candidate Biden insisted to the moderator that he needed to respond to the reference about his son.

“Look, there are 50 former national intelligence folks who said that what this, he’s accusing me of is a Russian plan,” Biden said at the debate.

“They have said that this has all the characteristics — four, five former heads of the CIA, both parties, say what he’s saying is a bunch of garbage. Nobody believes it except him and his good friend Rudy Giuliani,” Biden added.

Giuliani was involved in disseminating the contents from the laptop, which was obtained from the owner of a Delaware computer repair shop, in the lead-up to the 2020 election.

The former New York City mayor has for years claimed to have all manner of damaging information that could be gleaned from Hunter Biden’s laptop, including details on his business dealings that could lead back to his father.

Biden’s comment at the debate referenced a letter from 50 former national intelligence officials that warned the laptop story showed signs of a Russian disinformation operation.

“Defendant Biden knew that the preceding statement about the laptop and asserting that the Plaintiff lied about the content of the laptop were untrue and Defendant Biden knew it to be untrue,” the lawsuit states, referring to Joe Biden.

Hunter Biden has stopped short of taking ownership of all of the contents but has since acknowledged some of the data is his. He also sued Giuliani last month over the debacle.

Giuliani’s complaint sues President Biden and his political entities for two counts of defamation, one count of libel and one count of false light invasion of privacy. Giuliani asked the court for an unspecified amount of damages and to order Biden to publicly acknowledge the statements were false.

The Hill has reached out to Biden’s campaign for comment.

The lawsuit comes as the former Trump attorney faces legal troubles of his own.

Giuliani is charged in the Georgia election subversion case alongside the former president and is also defending himself against multiple civil suits. Giuliani pleaded not guilty in Georgia.

He has also appeared to face a recent cash crunch. Giuliani faces a lawsuit from his ex-lawyers over nearly $1.4 million in alleged outstanding legal bills, a defamation suit from two Georgia election workers, among others.

Tags Hunter Biden Joe Biden Rudy Giuliani Rudy Giuliani