Rudy Giuliani barred from practicing law in New York state over misleading election statements

Rudy Giuliani, the former personal lawyer of former US President Donald Trump on Thursday was barred from practicing law in New York state by an appellate court that found he made “demonstrably false and misleading statements” about the 2020 election.

The court said “there is uncontroverted evidence” that Giuliani, former Manhattan US attorney, “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.”

Giuliani’s “conduct immediately threatens the public interest and warrants interim suspension from the practice of law,” the court added.

The suspension of his law license marks a new fall for the former New York City mayor, once considered an accomplished and formidable force in legal circles. In recent years, however, Giuliani’s reputation has suffered as he has come under criminal investigation by the office he used to lead, the Manhattan US attorney’s office, for possible illegal lobbying. He has denied wrongdoing.

Giuliani later on Thursday argued that his comments were not a threat to the public.

“I made all those statements, not a single one of them led to a protest, a riot, an incident, an anything,” he said. “Obviously, those statements do not have the impact of creating danger.”

In certain cases, according to the court’s ruling, Giuliani acknowledged that the statements he made were untrue, but claimed he didn’t knowingly make a false statement. Regarding absentee ballots in Pennsylvania, for example, Giuliani “claims that he relied on some unidentified member of his ‘team’ who ‘inadvertently’ took the information from the Pennsylvania website, which had the information mistakenly listed,” the court wrote, citing Giuliani’s affidavit.

The court concluded, however: “There is simply no proof to support this explanation.”

In other cases, the court said Giuliani failed to provide any source at all for statements he made, such as assertions concerning the number of dead people he alleged voted in Georgia in the 2020 election, which he said at various times ranged from 800 to 6,000.

Though Giuliani told the court that he would “exercise personal discipline” and refrain from making further statements about the election in his capacity as a lawyer, according to the ruling, the court found that he had continued to make false statements hence the submission of the application for suspension of his license.