The state of New York has suspended former NYC mayor and federal prosecutor Rudy Giuliani’s law license, claiming he made “demonstrably false” statements to courts as an attorney for former President Donald Trump.
“[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,” said a ruling from a state appellate court on Thursday in a 33-page decision.
The ruling means Giuliani cannot, for the time being, practice law in the Empire State.
The court further claimed that Giuliani threatened the “public interest” acting as Trump’s attorney, adding that his actions “warrant interim suspension from the practice of law.”
In several post-election legal actions, Giuliani argued that the 2020 election was rife with fraud and that electronic balloting had been altered to shift votes to the ultimate victor, Joe Biden.
“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,” it adds.
In arguing his case, attorneys for Giuliani said efforts to disbar or otherwise discipline him are unconstitutional violations of his First Amendment right to free speech. The court rejected those claims, however, noting the “disciplinary proceeding concerns the professional restrictions imposed on respondent as an attorney to not knowingly misrepresent facts and make false statements in connection with his representation of a client.”
The ruling is tied, in large part, to the violent protest at the U.S. Capitol Building on Jan. 6, with the court describing it as an “insurrection.”
“One only has to look at the ongoing present public discord over the 2020 election, which erupted into violence, insurrection and death on January 6, 2021 at the U.S. Capitol, to understand the extent of the damage that can be done when the public is misled by false information about the elections,” the ruling states.
No one arrested and/or jailed in connection with the Jan. 6 incident has been charged with sedition or any crime related to seditious behavior. Also, no one arrested has been charged with using a firearm in the commission of a crime; in fact, the only shooting death that day was by a suspected Capitol Police officer who killed unarmed protester Ashli Babbitt, an Air Force veteran, as she attempted to climb through the broken window of a doorway near the House chamber.
Nevertheless, the state court is blaming Guiliani, in part, for the protest.
“The AGC contends that respondent’s misconduct directly inflamed tensions that bubbled over into the events of January 6, 2021 in this nation’s Capitol,” the ruling states.
In recent days, Fox News’s Tucker Carlson has suggested that FBI undercover operatives may have been involved in helping plan the Jan. 6 violence, citing federal charging documents and other evidence.
In a Twitter post after the ruling, Giuliani cited the shooting of Babbitt to push back on the court’s decision.
“On Jan. 6, 2021, I believe only one shot was fired, or was it multiple shots from one source? The person shot, Ashli Babbitt, was unarmed and being lifted up by two unidentified men. Why are those critical identities being covered up?” he wrote.
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