WASHINGTON – Shaye Moss was exuberant following election night in 2020.

Moss was an interim supervisor at the Fulton County, Georgia, election department. She oversaw absentee ballot counting at State Farm Arena, and things had gone well – so well, that she thought she might be in line for a promotion.

Giuliani Election Trial

Wandrea “Shaye” Moss, a former Georgia election worker, testifies as her mother Ruby Freeman listens at right, as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds a hearing at the Capitol in Washington, June 21, 2022. In Giuliani’s defamation trial, Wandrea “Shaye” Moss took the witness stand on Tuesday and read messages accusing her of treason, calling her a thug and a racist slur.Jacquelyn Martin/Associated Press, file

“I was so proud. I knew I made my supervisor proud,” Moss testified Tuesday in federal court.

A month later, when she was summoned to her supervisor’s office, Moss thought she and her colleagues were up for an award. Instead, she learned she was being accused of voting fraud.

That was also the day she saw the first racist threats from people who said she had committed treason and deserved to die. Three years later, those threats continue, and Moss said her life is a shambles.

“It was the last day I was this bubbly, outgoing, happy Shaye,” Moss testified, wiping away tears during hours of emotional testimony. “Everything in my life changed. Everything just flipped upside down.”


Moss testified in the defamation trial of Rudy Giuliani, one of the primary architects of the false voting fraud claims that upended Moss’ life. As he aided former President Donald Trump’s effort to overturn Democrat Joe Biden’s victory in Georgia, Giuliani unveiled snippets of security footage of ballot counting at State Farm Arena that he said was a smoking gun for voting fraud.

It was not. The FBI, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the secretary of state’s office investigated and quickly debunked Giuliani’s allegations. But that didn’t stop Giuliani, Trump and others from repeating the lies.

Moss and Ruby Freeman, her mother and fellow former election worker, were featured in Giuliani’s video. Almost as soon as he unveiled the footage at a December 2020 legislative hearing in Atlanta, they began receiving threats. Freeman was forced to flee her home on the advice of the FBI. Moss eventually left the election job she loved.

The pair later filed a defamation lawsuit against Giuliani. U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell has already found Giuliani liable for defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress and conspiracy. The plaintiffs have asked a jury to award them up to $47 million in compensatory damages, plus punitive damages to deter Giuliani and others from repeating the lies.


Moss’ testimony Tuesday – with Giuliani watching – underscored the toll the false fraud allegations have taken on her life.


She described how excited she was when she was first hired in 2012 for a temporary job handling mail at Fulton County’s election department testifying she “literally dropped to my knees and cried.” She wanted to make her mother and grandmother proud.

Moss said she loved the job. By 2020, she was an interim supervisor in the absentee ballot department. She hoped to get the job permanently. She believed things went so well on election night that she might get it.

That changed on Dec. 4, 2020 – the day after Giuliani unveiled his edited security footage. In her supervisor’s office, she learned “these crazy lies were spread about me that day everywhere.”

She also started reading the messages strangers were sending via social media – many of them filled with racial slurs and profanity.

“Are you the dirty (string of epithets and slurs) that was caught in the video counting illegal balance (sic) out of a suitcase,” one message read. “I hope you get what’s coming to you, lady. I hope you go to jail and your dirty mother.”

Strangers appeared at Moss’ grandmother’s house, where Moss used to live. They tried to push their way in the door to make a “citizen’s arrest.”


Moss’ 14-year-old son also received racist death threats on an old phone she had given him. She tried to explain to him in her “momma way” that people were upset, and it wouldn’t last forever.

But the calls persisted and took a toll on her son during his final exams. Moss wept as she testified that he failed every class that semester.

Moss testified she has panic attacks and fears going out in public. She said she’s been diagnosed with major depressive disorder with acute distress.

“I feel like I’m being followed all the time,” she said. “When I go to get my nails done, I have to be your last client. I don’t want anyone else there.”


As her testimony stretched for hours, used tissues accumulated on the stand in front of her. Giuliani watched, his hands at times folded across his chest.


Though he remained silent in court, Giuliani told reporters late Monday he plans to testify that his voting fraud allegations are true.

“When I testify, the whole story will be definitively clear that what I said was true, and that, whatever happened to them – which is unfortunate about other people overreacting – everything I said about them is true,” Giuliani told reporters.

That prompted the plaintiff’s attorneys to ask Howell to prohibit Giuliani from making such statements in court. In court records, Giuliani has already stipulated that his statements were false. And his attorney, Joseph Sibley, acknowledged as much in his opening statement Monday.

Howell granted the plaintiff’s request and urged Sibley to try to keep his client under control.

“Was Mr. Giuliani just playing for the cameras or the media yesterday?” Howell asked.

“I’m not sure, your honor,” Sibley responded. “I think this has taken a toll on him. He’s almost 80 years old.”


But Giuliani’s statements may yet come back to haunt him. During her testimony, Moss told jurors she heard his latest fraud allegations when she got back to her hotel Monday night.

Howell said jurors might take those comments into account when assessing whether to impose punitive damages against Giuliani.

Giuliani was more circumspect in his comments to the media after Tuesday’s testimony. He suggested reporters should be asking whether the proceedings were “a political hit job” instead of a “legitimate defamation case.” But he did not repeat his vow to testify that the fraud allegations against Freeman and Moss are true.

Giuliani is expected to take the stand himself later this week.

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