Rudy Giuliani suspended from practicing law in New York over ‘Stop the Steal’ messaging

June 25, 2021

A New York court on Thursday suspended Rudy Giuliani from practicing law in New York State because of his “false and misleading statements” about the election loss of former President Donald Trump, his client.

According to a report by CNBC, “The suspension is a stunning blow to Giuliani, the former New York City mayor who previously served as a top Justice Department official, and the head prosecutor for the federal Southern District of New York.”

Indeed, The Daily Beast reports, Giuliani and Trump have since last November made false claims about the legitimacy of the election of President Joe Biden–—leading a “Stop the Steal” movement among Republicans nationwide.

The New York Supreme Court Appellate Division’s grievance committee filed a summary of disciplinary proceedings on Thursday, June 24, outlining multiple “uncontroverted” instances of professional misconduct.

“[W]e 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 five-member Attorney Grievance Committee said in its filing.

.“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. 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.”

All licensed attorneys in New York must abide by professional rules of conduct, which are upheld by judicial departments of the Supreme Court’s Appellate Divisions.

In its 33-page ruling, the grievance committee outlines—and then systematically debunks—a long list of statements Giuliani made during his months-long crusade to overturn Joe Biden’s election win, The Daily Beast notes.

For example, Giuliani claimed in several interviews and state legislature hearings that more absentee ballots came in during the election in Pennsylvania than were sent out before the election—a statement that the committee easily proved was “simply untrue.”

In response, Giuliani told the committee that an unidentified member of his “team” had “inadvertently” taken misleading information from Pennsylvania’s website.

In other examples, Giuliani repeatedly claimed that dead people voted in Georgia, at times quantifying it as 800;  6,000; or 10,515 dead people. (In truth, officials were investigating two potential cases of votes being cast in the name of dead people.) In Pennsylvania, he put the number at 8,021 dead people and then 30,000 dead people.

Public records “unequivocally show that respondent’s statement is false,” the committee said. (Giuliani argued during disciplinary proceedings that he didn’t know the statements were false but he failed to provide “a scintilla of evidence” to support his claim, the filing says.)

The probe was initiated in January, in the wake of the Capitol riot, when State Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Brad Hoylman urged the grievance committee to investigate Giuliani’s role.

“I will be filing a formal complaint with the Appellate Division of the Unified Court System asking them to consider revoking Rudy Giuliani’s license to practice law in New York due to rampant and egregious violations of the Rules of Professional Conduct related to his participation in a scheme to unlawfully overturn the results of a free and fair election and his complicity in inflaming a violent coup attempt in our seat of federal government,” Holyman said.

Separately, the New York State Bar Association launched an investigation into former President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer after receiving hundreds of complaints about his role in the Capitol riot.

In a statement in January, NYSBA blamed the mob on Trump’s repeated false claims about the results of the 2020 election—but notes that the “president did not act alone.”

“Hours before the angry mob stormed the Capitol walls, Trump’s personal attorney, Rudolph Giuliani, addressed a crowd of thousands at the White House, reiterating baseless claims of widespread election fraud in the presidential election and the Georgia U.S. Senate runoffs,” the association, which counts 24,000 lawyers among its members, said.

While the grievance committee said it wanted to immediately boot Giuliani from practicing law, it said the suspension was only temporary pending a full formal disciplinary proceeding. Giuliani will be able to appeal to decision.

esearch contact: @thedailybeast

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