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Ethics panel: Rudy Giuliani should be disbarred over election claims

A disciplinary counsel is recommending Rudy Giuliani be disbarred from practicing law in Washington, D.C.
Ethics panel: Rudy Giuliani should be disbarred over election claims
Posted at 10:01 PM, Jul 07, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-07 22:01:58-04

A Washington D.C.-based attorney review panel concluded Friday former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani should be disbarred in the city due to his efforts in perpetrating false 2020 election claims on behalf of former President Donald Trump.

The three-member disciplinary counsel said its review "proved by clear and convincing evidence" that Giuliani violated Pennsylvania law, and concluded he should be disbarred.

It said his "frivolous" lawsuit seeking to change the 2020 election results "when he had no factual basis, and consequently no legitimate legal grounds, to do so" should mean he forfeits his right to practice law.

"Mr. Giuliani’s effort to undermine the integrity of the 2020 presidential election has helped destabilize our democracy," the panel said. "His malicious and meritless claims have done lasting damage and are antagonistic to the oath to 'support the Constitution of the United States of America' that he swore when he was admitted to the Bar."

SEE MORE: Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani interviewed in Jan. 6 investigation

Giuliani has been a member of the D.C. bar since 1976 but has been inactive since 2002. Last year, its disciplinary arm filed the ethics charge against him for the false election claims.

A New York court has already suspended Giuliani from practicing law in New York over his false election claims in support of Trump. And two other lawyers are facing disbarment in other states for the same reason.

Giuliani and other Trump lawyers have repeatedly made unfounded claims of election fraud, including in a 2020 federal Pennsylvania court case that sought to overturn the state's election results. In the case, Giuliani supported a claim that a large number of mail-in ballots should be invalidated over fraud, but a federal judge dismissed the case, saying it lacked "compelling legal arguments and factual proof of rampant corruption."

The panel Friday echoed the judge's sentiment, saying Giuliani "did not offer any evidence that fraudulent mail-in votes were actually cast or counted."

It also responded to Giuliani's claim that his knowledge of the events was based on what other Trump allies said.

"Mr. Giuliani’s argument that he did not have time fully to investigate his case before filing it is singularly unimpressive. He sought to upend the presidential election but never had evidence to support that effort," the panel said.

Now the D.C. panel's review will go to the Court of Appeals for a final decision.


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