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Rudy Giuliani disbarred in New York for spreading falsehoods about 2020 election


Rudy Giuliani disbarred in New York for spreading falsehoods about 2020 election

Washington — Rudy Giuliani, who served as former President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, was disbarred from practicing law in New York on Tuesday after he was found to have spread falsehoods about the integrity of the 2020 presidential election.

A New York appeals court concluded that Giuliani is disbarred effectively immediately and ordered his name “stricken from the roll of attorneys and counselors-at-large” in the state. The court also ordered Giuliani to “desist and refrain” from practicing law in any form, appearing as an attorney before any court or judge, offering legal advice or “holding himself out in any way as an attorney and counselor-in-law.”

Giuliani, who served as the top federal prosecutor in Manhattan and was mayor of New York City, was admitted to practice law in the state in 1969.

Rudy Giuliani speaks to the press as he leaves the U.S. District Courthouse on Dec. 11, 2023, in Washington, D.C.

Drew Angerer / Getty Images

“Members of the legal community who respect the rule of law in this country should immediately come forward and speak out against this politically and ideologically corrupted decision,” Ted Goodman, spokesman for Giuliani, said in a statement. “We will be appealing this objectively flawed decision in hopes that the appellate process will restore integrity into our system of justice.” 

The disciplinary charges against Giuliani stemmed from allegations that he made false and misleading statements to courts, lawmakers and the public claiming the 2020 election was rife with fraud and that the election was stolen from Trump. Giuliani spread the baseless claims while working as a lawyer for Trump and his reelection campaign in connection with his attempts to challenge his electoral loss.

There was no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election, and dozens of legal challenges brought by Trump and his campaign were rejected by courts. 

Giuliani was suspended from practicing law in New York in June 2021 based on what the court said was “uncontroverted evidence” that he made false statements that “immediately threatened the public interest.”

He faced 20 disciplinary charges from an attorney grievance committee based on the conduct underlying his suspension. In October, a court-appointed referee convened a six-day hearing to examine the charges against Giuliani and determined 16 had been proven.

The appeals court agreed with the referee’s findings and said they are “well founded and thoroughly explained.”

It said the 16 falsehoods perpetuated by Giuliani “were deliberate and constituted a transparent pattern of conduct intended and designed to deceive.”

“The seriousness of respondent’s misconduct cannot be overstated,” the court said. “Respondent flagrantly misused his prominent position as the personal attorney for former President Trump and his campaign, through which respondent repeatedly and intentionally made false statements, some of which were perjurious, to the federal court, state lawmakers, the public, the AGC, and this court concerning the 2020 Presidential election, in which he baselessly attacked and undermined the integrity of this country’s electoral process.”

The appeals court said Giuliani not only violated the tenets of the legal profession, but “actively contributed to the national strife that has followed the 2020 Presidential election, for which he is entirely unrepentant.”

Giuliani had claimed that he didn’t know the statements he was making about the election were false and he had a good-faith basis to believe the allegations that the election was stolen from Trump. Among the baseless claims Giuliani made about the election were that people were brought from New Jersey to vote illegally in Philadelphia; trucks delivered ballots in paper bags and trash receptacles in Michigan; and thousands of votes were cast by dead people in Georgia.

Giuliani repeated the lies about the election in numerous venues across late 2020 and early 2021, including before state lawmakers in Georgia, Michigan and Missouri and during a memorable press conference at Four Seasons Total Landscaping in Philadelphia, as well as on his radio show.

The court’s decision to disbar Giuliani is the latest blow to the former mayor as a result of the falsehoods he amplified following the 2020 election. A federal judge held him liable last year for defaming two former election workers in Georgia and a jury ordered Giuliani to pay $148 million to them. He filed for bankruptcy in the wake of the decision.

Giuliani is also facing state charges in Fulton County, Georgia, and Arizona as a result of an alleged plot to overturn the results of the elections there. He has pleaded not guilty in both cases

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