Rudy Giuliani barred from practicing law in New York over election lies

Rudy Giuliani is suspended from practicing law in New York state following disciplinary proceedings over his misleading statements to courts and the public following the 2020 US presidential election.

The New York supreme court issued its decision on Thursday, saying that it had found “uncontroverted evidence” that Giuliani made “demonstrably false and misleading statements to courts, lawmakers and the public at large”, on behalf of his client, then-president Donald Trump, and created a “narrative that due to widespread voter fraud, victory in the 2020 United States presidential election was stolen from his client”.

Giuliani, 77, helped lead Trump’s legal challenge of his election loss as his personal attorney. He argued without evidence that voter fraud was rampant in Georgia, and that voting machines in the state and others were rigged. He urged Georgia’s Republican electors to vote for Trump, despite the state’s Republican governor, Brian Kemp, and secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, countering there was no evidence of fraud.

The five-justice appellate division said Giuliani’s conduct threatened the public interest and warranted an interim suspension. The seriousness of the misconduct, the court said in a 33-page decision, “can not be overstated”.

Giuliani was admitted to New York’s state bar in 1969, and worked for the justice department under President Ronald Reagan. He was mayor of New York City from 1994 to 2001.

Giuliani’s license will be revoked while disciplinary action over his practices are considered.

Two of his attorneys, John M Leventhal and Barry Kamins provided this statement to the Guardian: “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.”

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