June 24, 2021
The State of New York has suspended Rudy Giuliani’s law license over his claims of fraud in the 2020 election, according to a court decision released Thursday.
The decision states:
Respondent was admitted to practice as an attorney and counselor at law in the State of New York on June 25, 1969, under the name Rudolph William Giuliani. He maintains a law office within the First Judicial Department.
For the reasons that follow, 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. 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.
The ruling stated that Giuliani’s suspension is “interim,” and that his statements about election fraud were made “knowingly.” Though he has First Amendment rights, the court noted, he is also bound by rules of professional conduct.
One example of a false statement in the ruling was as follows:
Respondent repeatedly stated that dead people “voted” in Philadelphia in order to discredit the results of the vote in that city. He quantified the amount of dead people who voted at various times as 8,021; while also reporting the number as 30,000. As the anecdotal poster child to prove this point, he repeatedly stated that famous heavyweight boxer Joe Frazier continued to vote years after he was dead and stated on November 7, 2020 “he is still voting here.” The public records submitted on this motion unequivocally show that respondent’s statement is false. Public records show that Pennsylvania formally cancelled Mr. Frazier’s eligibility to vote on February 8, 2012, three months after he died.
The court further found that Giuliani’s false statements were an “immediate threat to the public,” notwithstanding his promise not to comment further on the election: “The risk that respondent will continue to engage in future misconduct while this disciplinary proceeding is pending is further borne out by his past, persistent and pervasive dissemination of these false statements in the media.”
The court concluded: “This event only emphasizes the larger point that the broad dissemination of false statements, casting doubt on the legitimacy of thousands of validly cast votes, is corrosive to the public’s trust in our most important democratic institutions.”
None of the attorneys who claimed for years that President Donald Trump was elected through “Russian collusion” has been disciplined in a similar manner.
Giulian’s suspension is a twist in a storied legal career, where he served as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York before being elected mayor of New York City, and eventually representing President Trump.
He became an internationally-renowned political leader during his tenure as mayor, both for improving the quality of life in New York City, and leading it through the 9/11 terror attacks.
No end date for the interim suspension was given; it will remain in place until the conclusion of further disciplinary proceedings.