An intermediate New York appellate court on Thursday took the rare step of suspending Rudy Giuliani’s law license, declaring there was “uncontroverted evidence” that the onetime attorney to former president Donald Trump made “knowingly false and misleading factual statements” concerning fraud in the 2020 presidential election. The decision was widely praised by attorneys, many of whom weighed in on the fall from grace for the man once regarded as “America’s Mayor.”
The unanimous 33-page opinion from the state’s Attorney Grievance Committee did not pull any punches in describing Giuliani’s conduct, saying the former top prosecutor for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) dishonestly pushed Trump’s erroneous claims about the election.
“[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 court said. “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.”
Giuliani’s colleagues in the legal field were quick to pile on the former U.S. attorney, with many emphasizing the exceptional circumstances of his case.
“I don’t know anybody who’s been suspended from practice like this. But what you cannot do is just lie. You cannot make demonstrably false and dangerous statements,” said CNN legal analyst and former federal prosecutor Elie Honig.
“It is a very big deal, and very rare, for a law license to be suspended. Another moment of shame, fully earned, by Rudy Giuliani.”
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, where Giuliani made a bizarre post-election court appearance on behalf of the Trump campaign, similarly highlighted Giuliani’s falsehoods.
“You cannot lie in a court of law and get away with it—not even if Trump has you on speed dial,” Shapiro wrote. “I petitioned the NY court to suspend Rudy Giuliani’s law license, and his disbarment is well-earned. His lies have caused serious harm to our democracy. Don’t mess with Pennsylvania.”
D.C.-based national security attorney Brad Moss said the decision against Giuliani should be “required reading in ethics classes.”
“This entire opinion should be required reading in ethics classes for new attorneys. Rudy gets taken out behind the woodshed for his grotesquely unethical conduct. It’s a far cry from the former SDNY chief’s legal heyday, who now looks like a bumbling fraud,” Moss wrote. He also said the decision should act as “a warning to those like [former Trump attorney Jenna Ellis] who sat next to Rudy while, when he wasn’t drooling or farting, tried to push many of those false or misleading facts before various state legislatures.”
Attorney George Conway, who is married to former Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway, said it was “almost inconceivable that he will ever set foot in a courtroom again as anything other than a defendant.”
Rudy’s son, Andrew Giuliani, was clearly not happy about his father’s suspension, saying that judges appointed by Democrats are a “cancer that needs to be cut out” in a video posted to Twitter.
— Andrew H. Giuliani (@AndrewHGiuliani) June 24, 2021
[image via Jeff Kowalsky / Getty Images]
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