NEW YORK (WROC/AP) — An appeals court suspended Rudy Giuliani from practicing law in New York because he made false statements while trying to get courts to overturn Donald Trump’s loss in the presidential race.
An attorney disciplinary committee said in its motion to suspend Giuliani’s license that there was “uncontroverted evidence” that Giuliani had made false statements to the courts, the public and lawmakers as he pushed theories that the election was stolen through fraud.
“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 committee wrote. “The hallmark of our democracy is predicated on free and fair elections. 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 ruling, signed Thursday, will prevent Giuliani from representing clients as a lawyer.
In the decision, the committee wrote that Giuliani “communicated demonstrably false and misleading statements to courts, lawmakers and the public at large” as a lawyer for Trump.
Giuliani had claimed that the investigation into his conduct violated his First Amendment right of free speech and that he did not knowingly make false statements, according to the decision.
The court rejected those arguments, noting that in Pennsylvania, Giuliani failed to “provide a scintilla of evidence for any of the varying and wildly inconsistent numbers of dead people he factually represented voted in Philadelphia during the 2020 presidential election.”
A message seeking comment about the ruling was sent Thursday to Giuliani and his lawyer.
Giuliani was the primary mouthpiece for Trump’s lies after the 2020 election, standing at a press conference in front of Four Seasons Total Landscaping outside Philadelphia on the day the race was called for Biden and saying they would challenge what he claimed was a vast conspiracy by Democrats.
The lies around the 2020 election helped push an angry mob of pro-Trump rioters to storm the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 in a shocking effort to stop the certification of President Biden’s victory. And since that time, Republicans have used that lie to push stricter voting laws nationwide.
The ruling said: “All attorneys who are licensed to practice law in New York are subject to the Rules of Conduct, which establish a framework for the ethical practice of the law and a lawyer’s duties as an officer of the legal system.”
It goes on to say: “Interim suspension is available even where formal charges have not yet been filed.”
In April, federal investigators executed a search warrant at the Manhattan home of Giuliani. He has been under investigation for several years over his business dealings in Ukraine. Details of the search were not immediately available, but it comes as the Justice Department continues its investigation into the former New York City mayor and staunch Trump ally.
Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.