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In lawsuit, Pa. voting official says Trump, Giuliani lies led to his heart attacks

The official, James Savage, is suing Trump and his surrogates, charging their claims he helped "fix" the 2020 election led to numerous death threats.
Image: President-elect Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster in N.J. on Nov. 20, 2016.
President-elect Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster in N.J. on Nov. 20, 2016.Jabin Botsford / The Washington Post via Getty Images file

A Pennsylvania election worker who was falsely accused of rigging the state's election for Joe Biden is suing former President Donald Trump and some of his top surrogates, charging their lies about him led to numerous death threats and two heart attacks.

In papers filed in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, Delaware County voting machine warehouse supervisor James Savage says his "character has been assassinated on a national level" thanks to the false claims made by Trump, his lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis and others that he'd uploaded 50,000 votes for Biden. "The plaintiff did nothing of the sort," the suit says.

"Despite knowing the impossibility of such claims and/or insinuations," Trump, his surrogates and followers "spread, reposted, and disseminated these outrageously defamatory claims and/or insinuations against Mr. Savage, subjecting him to threats of physical violence, and causing Plaintiff to suffer .. two heart attacks," it continues.

"Simply put, Mr. Savage’s physical safety, and his reputation, were acceptable collateral damage for the wicked intentions of the Defendants herein," the suit says.

Trump's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The suit, which was filed Monday and first reported by the website Law360, says the smear began at a presentation state Senate Republicans held on Giuliani's allegations of voter fraud in the state in Gettysburg in late November of last year. Biden won the state by 80,000 votes.

A pair of poll watchers accused the Delaware County voting machine warehouse supervisor of uploading Biden votes with USB cards, claims that were echoed by Giuliani and Ellis and then Trump, who phoned into the event.

While Savage was not named during the event, he's the county's only machine warehouse supervisor, the suit notes.

The Trump team continued with the claim in the weeks that followed, which the suit says led to a number of threats against the civil servant.

"As a result of the Defendants’ knowingly false statements, Mr. Savage and his family have been the target of threats and intimidation, including at his place of work and/or his home. Indeed, less than a week before Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building in Washington D.C. on January 6, 2021, the plaintiff was accosted at his work by two men without credentials asserting that they wanted to search his work and were there on behalf of 'the voters,'” the suit says.

"Plaintiff rightfully feared and continues to fear for the safety of himself and his family," says the court filing, which seeks damages in excess of $50,000 for defamation and "severe emotional, physical and/or psychological harm."