Rudy Giuliani suspended from practicing law in N.Y. over false 2020 election claims

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Rudy Giuliani, the former personal attorney for former President Donald Trump, was suspended Thursday from practicing law in New York.

Giuliani, who was also a New York City mayor and U.S. attorney, had propagated baseless claims of widespread voter fraud and tried to persuade state legislators to override the will of the voters during the 2020 presidential election

A New York appellate court found 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.”

Rudy Giuliani addresses supporters of then-President Donald Trump in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021.
Rudy Giuliani addresses supporters of then-President Donald Trump in Washington on Jan. 6. (Reuters/Jim Bourg/File Photo)

“These false statements were made to improperly bolster respondent’s narrative that due to widespread voter fraud, victory in the 2020 United States presidential election was stolen from his client,” the decision said. “We conclude that respondent’s conduct immediately threatens the public interest and warrants interim suspension from the practice of law, pending further proceedings before the Attorney Grievance Committee.”

Giuliani's attorneys said that they’re “disappointed” with the court’s decision, according to a statement shared on Twitter. “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,” the statement said.

Trump slammed the decision in a statement Thursday, calling Giuliani a "great American patriot."

"The greatest Mayor in the history of New York City, the Eliot Ness of his generation, one of the greatest crime fighters our Country has ever known, and this is what the Radical Left does to him," Trump said.

The decision comes after an investigation into complaints of professional misconduct against Giuliani, the court said. Attorneys who practice law in New York must abide by the state’s Rules of Conduct, which govern the appropriate behavior of lawyers.

The court cited an instance in which Giuliani repeatedly stated that there were more Pennsylvania absentee ballots that came in during the election than were sent out, which was not true. “The true facts are that 3.08 million absentee ballots were mailed out before the general election, which more than accounted for the over 2.5 million mail-in ballots that were actually tallied,” the decision said.

Giuliani also claimed to have “hundreds of witnesses, experts, and investigative reports” that proved there was fraud, “none of which have been provided or identified,” the court said.

Rudy Giuliani speaks at a news conference in November 2020 at the Republican National Committee about lawsuits contesting the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.
Giuliani at a news conference in November 2020 at the Republican National Committee about lawsuits contesting the outcome of the presidential election. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Giuliani was among a number of vehement Trump supporters who falsely claimed that widespread fraud occurred during the election. With Trump’s campaign counsel Jenna Ellis, he even went as far as to float the idea to Pennsylvania lawmakers that they could decide to give the state’s 20 Electoral College votes to Trump, even though the state had already certified Joe Biden as the winner.

Trump’s campaign waged a lengthy court battle to try to steer the election in his favor, with virtually no success. Even GOP-appointed judges admonished the effort. Now Trump's most vocal allies, including Giuliani, are facing legal consequences over the botched legal campaign. Dominion Voting Systems, the voting machine company that Trump allies baselessly accused of rigging the election, sued Giuliani; the CEO of MyPillow, Mike Lindell, a vocal Trump supporter; and former Trump lawyer Sidney Powell for defamation in January. That litigation continues. ABC News reported that Giuliani, Lindell and Powell were scheduled to appear in court Thursday.

“The seriousness of [Giuliani’s] uncontroverted misconduct cannot be overstated,” the court said. Giuliani is suspended from practicing law in any form, effective today, until his disciplinary case has been concluded, the decision said. Giuliani has 20 days to submit a request for a post-suspension hearing.


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