Court suspends Giuliani’s law licence, citing Trump election lies

Rudy Giuliani, then-President Donald Trump’s attorney, speaks to reporters at the offices of the Republican National Committee in Washington on Nov. 19, 2020. A New York appellate court suspended Giuliani’s law license on Thursday, June 24, 2021, after a disciplinary panel found that he made “demonstrably false and misleading” statements about the 2020 election as Trump’s personal lawyer. (Erin Schaff/The New York Times)
A New York appellate court suspended Rudy Giuliani’s law licence Thursday after a disciplinary panel found that he made “demonstrably false and misleading” statements about the 2020 election as Donald Trump’s personal attorney.

The court wrote in a 33-page decision that Giuliani’s conduct threatened “the public interest and warrants interim suspension from the practice of law.”

Giuliani helped lead Trump’s legal challenge to the election results, arguing without merit that the vote had been rife with fraud and that voting machines had been rigged.

“We conclude that there is uncontroverted evidence that respondent communicated demonstrably false and misleading statements to courts, lawmakers and the public at large in his capacity as lawyer for former President Donald J. Trump and the Trump campaign in connection with Trump’s failed effort at reelection in 2020,” the decision read.

Giuliani now faces disciplinary proceedings and can fight the suspension. But the court said in its decision that Giuliani’s actions had posed “an immediate threat” to the public and that it was likely he would face “permanent sanctions” after the proceedings conclude.

Giuliani’s attorneys, John Leventhal and Barry Kamins, said in a statement that they were disappointed that the panel took action before holding a hearing on the allegations.

“This is unprecedented as we believe that our client does not pose a present danger to the public interest,” they said. “We believe that once the issues are fully explored at a hearing, Mr. Giuliani will be reinstated as a valued member of the legal profession that he has served so well in his many capacities for so many years.”

The suspension marked another stunning chapter in the rise and fall of Giuliani’s long legal and political career. He rose to national prominence when, as New York City mayor, as he steered the city through the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

More recently, Giuliani’s dealings in Ukraine before the election designed to damage President Joe Biden’s campaign have been under criminal investigation by federal prosecutors in Manhattan, working for the same office that he once led. In April, FBI agents seized Giuliani’s mobile phones and computers, an extraordinary action to take against an attorney for a former president.

Prosecutors have been investigating whether Giuliani illegally lobbied the Trump administration in 2019 on behalf of Ukrainian officials and oligarchs, who were assisting Giuliani’s efforts to dig up dirt in Ukraine on Biden and his son. Giuliani has denied any wrongdoing.

 

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