As his personal attorney, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani played a major role in helping then-President Donald Trump launch challenges against the outcome of last year’s presidential race.
Those efforts appear to have come at a significant cost, however. According to The Hill, the New York Supreme Court’s Appellate Division moved this week to suspend Giuliani’s law license over what it described as “false and misleading statements to courts” with regard to the 2020 election.
“The hallmark of our democracy”
The decision was reportedly handed down Thursday after the five-judge appeals panel accused Giuliani of making misleading claims.
“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,” the panel’s ruling declared, according to The Hill.
They went on: “This country is being torn apart by continued attacks on the legitimacy of the 2020 election and of our current president, Joseph R. Biden.”
“The hallmark of our democracy is predicated on free and fair elections,” the ruling added before alleging that Giuliani had undermined that principle. “False statements intended to foment a loss of confidence in our elections and resulting loss of confidence in government generally damage the proper functioning of a free society,” the judges concluded.
The state high court also rejected Giuliani’s contention that “he has exercised self-restraint by not publicly commenting on the election” in the months since. “There are numerous instances demonstrating the opposite,” the appeals panel charged, as The Hill reported.
Giuliani could face disbarment
As a result of his suspension, the former New York City mayor will be precluded from practicing law while additional consequences are being considered. Permanent disbarment remains a possibility for Guiliani, as well, according to Politico.
Giuliani didn’t respond to request for comment from Politico, but lambasted the court’s decision in a tweet. “Are we living in Communist China?” he reportedly wrote. “Will the panel for the NY Bar Association be held accountable for abuse of power?”
The former mayor’s legal team later released a statement to The Hill condemning the ruling and disputing its claim that their client presents any kind of threat.
“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,” John Leventhal and Barry Kamins, both retired judges, told The Hill.
The pair also said they believed “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.”