OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
New York has suspended the law license of Rudy Giuliani following a decision by the state appellate court that he was involved in “false” claims about the 2020 election loss of Donald Trump, his client.
On Thursday, a New York appellate court suspended Giuliani’s ability to practice law in the state after a disciplinary panel found that he made “demonstrably false and misleading” statements about the election when he served as Trump’s personal attorney. His suspension comes a day short of his 52nd anniversary as a licensed lawyer in the state, and was sought by the Attorney Grievance Committee for the First Judicial Department, which represents Manhattan.
The suspension was granted by the Appellate Division for the state Supreme Court.
Following the 2020 United States presidential election, Giuliani helped lead Trump’s legal challenge to the election results, arguing alongside fellow attorney Sidney Powell that the vote was rife with fraud and that the voting machines may have been rigged.
Giuliani openly questioned the legitimacy of the election of Joe Biden, arguing that Trump had his victory stolen from him due to widespread ballot fraud in key states.
Giuliani was first admitted to the state bar in 1969 and first attained prominence as a prosecutor when he worked in the Justice Department under the Reagan administration.
He was the head prosecutor for the federal Southern District of New York. He was later named United States Attorney in Manhattan in 1983 and spent years taking down organized crime in the state.
Giuliani’s efforts against the Mafia have been documented in a Netflix documentary and have been the subject of several books about the fall of the Italian Mob in the tri-state area.
Giuliani was later elected mayor of New York City, serving for eight years.
He became a household name when he steered New York City through the September 11, 2001 terror attacks.
He would later become President Donald Trump’s personal attorney. He made national headlines during the 2020 presidential election due to his involvement with the disclosure and publication of Hunter Biden’s laptop, and later when he contested the election results.
“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,” the decision read, according to the New York Times.
The court added that Giuliani’s “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 court said.
The suspension, which takes effect immediately, is only temporary pending the outcome of a full formal disciplinary hearing.
In a statement, Giuliani’s lawyers John Leventhal and Barry Kamins said, “We are disappointed with the Appellate Division, First Department’s decision suspending Mayor Giuliani prior to being afforded a hearing on the issues that are alleged.”
“This is unprecedented as we believe that our client does not pose a present danger to the public interest. We believe that once the issues are fully explored at a hearing Mr. Giuliani will be reinstated as a valued member of the legal profession that he has served so well in his many capacities for so many years,” they stated.