An appeals court has suspended Rudy Giuliani from practi sing law in New York after he made false statements while trying to get Donald Trump’s loss in the US presidential race overturned.
An attorney disciplinary committee asked the court to suspend Mr Giuliani’s license saying he 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 court wrote in its decision granting the request.
“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 yesterday, will prevent Mr Giuliani from representing clients as a lawyer.
Mr Giuliani’s attorneys said in a statement that it was “unprecedented” for Mr Giuliani to be suspended before “being afforded a hearing on the issues that are alleged”.
“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,” attorneys Barry Kamins and John Leventhal wrote.
In the decision, the court wrote that Mr Giuliani “communicated demonstrably false and misleading statements to courts, lawmakers and the public at large” as a lawyer for Mr Trump.
Mr Giuliani claimed 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, Mr 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.”
Mr 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 Mr 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 US Capitol on January 6 in a shocking effort to stop the certification of Mr Biden’s victory.
And since that time, Republicans have used that lie to push stricter voting laws across the US.
The suspension comes as Mr Giuliani is under scrutiny by federal prosecutors over his interactions with figures in Ukraine while he was trying to get that country to launch an investigation of Mr Biden’s son, Hunter Biden.
Federal agents raided Mr Giuliani’s home and office in April, taking electronic devices including phones and computers.
The investigation includes an examination of whether Mr Giuliani was required to register as a foreign agent in the US.