ATLANTA — 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.
Channel 2′s Richard Elliot obtained a copy of the ruling that cites Giuliani’s actions in Georgia following the November election as part of the reason for the suspension.
The ruling said Giuliani “repeated to lawmakers and the public at large numerous false and misleading statements regarding the Georgia presidential election results. These statements ... were all knowingly made with the object of casting doubt on the accuracy of the vote. Respondent’s general claim, without providing this Court with any documentary support, that he relied on ‘hundreds of pages of affidavits and declarations in [respondent’s] possession that document gross irregularities…’ will not suffice to controvert the specific findings that he knowingly made the false statements.”
The ruling the went on to talk about how Giuliani made false claims that underage voters illegally voted.
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“(Giuliani) claimed that 65,000 or 66,000 or 165,00 underage voters illegally voted in the Georgia 2020 election. The Georgia Office of the Secretary of State undertook an investigation of this claim. It compared the list of all of the people who voted in Georgia to their full birthdays. The audit revealed that there were zero (0) underage voters in the 2020 election,” the ruling read.
It also said Giuliani’s claims that more than 2,500 felons had voted in the election were false as well. It also referenced his claim that in Georgia, “he had the names of 800 dead people who voted based upon the number of people who had passed away in 2020. Respondent further stated that this number was really in the thousands. At another point he claimed that 6,000 dead people had voted.
The ruling said the “claim of thousands of dead voters is false. So is respondent’s claim of 800 dead voters.”
The Georgia Secretary of State’s Office released a statement Thursday, saying:
“The judges recognized that the baseless conspiracy theories Giuliani repeated were not true and punished him for spreading lies, particularly about Georgia’s election. This decision backs up my own statements about Georgia’s election being fair and accurate. I hope they will show the same level of concern about any attorneys who may be spreading disinformation about Georgia’s new election law.”
Giuliani’s attorneys said in a statement that it was “unprecedented” for 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.
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 suspension comes as 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 Biden’s son.
Federal agents raided Giuliani’s home and office in April, taking electronic devices including phones and computers.
The investigation includes an examination of whether Giuliani was required to register as a foreign agent in the U.S. Some of the Ukrainian figures Giuliani has worked with were also interested in getting his help lobbying the Trump administration to dismiss the U.S. ambassador to that country.
That investigation was not a factor in the suspension of his law license.
The suspension won’t affect Giuliani’s ability to act as a lobbyist or do security consulting, but will likely will prevent him from practicing law in jurisdictions even beyond New York, said David S. Weinstein, a former federal prosecutor.
Giuliani would be obligated to tell other states about the suspension, he said, which “in all likelihood will cause them to say, ‘You won’t be able to practice here.’”
The Associated Press contributed to this article.
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