The Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court suspended Rudy Giuliani’s law license on Thursday because he made “demonstrably false and misleading statements.”
“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 court wrote in a 33-page decision.
The court says that Trump’s personal attorneys rhetoric posed an immediate threat to the public.
“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. 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 court wrote.
Giuliani’s lawyers disagreed with the court.
“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 unprecedented as we believe that our client does not pose a present danger to the public interest,” Giuliani’s lawyers, John Leventhal and Barry Kamins, said.
“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,” Giuliani’s attorneys said.
Giuliani may have “substantial permanent sanctions” against him once the investigation is completed. In addition, Giuliani argued that he would exercise personal discipline to refrain from discussing the 2020 presidential election.
The court says that Giuliani did not exercise personal discipline.
“Notwithstanding respondent’s claim that he exercised self-restraint by not publicly commenting on the election, there are numerous instances demonstrating the opposite,” the court said.
The court believes that Giuliani’s language was corrosive and a strong force behind the deadly January 6 Capitol attacks in Washington D.C.
“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 court wrote.
“This event only emphasizes the larger point that the broad dissemination of false statements, casting doubt on the legitimacy of thousands of validly cast votes, is corrosive to the public’s trust in our most important democratic institutions.”
Giuliani is currently under investigation by federal prosecutors for his dealings with Ukraine. Dominion Voting Systems are also suing him for spreading falsehoods about the 2020 Presidential election.