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Trump's former lawyer barred from practising law for making false claims

Rudy Giuliani, ex-US President Donald Trump's personal lawyer made "demonstrably false and misleading statements" about the 2020 presidential election

Donald Trump | Rudy Giuliani | 2020 US elections


Rudy Giuliani
Rudy Giuliani

Rudy Giuliani, ex-US President Donald Trump's personal lawyer, was suspended from practising law in New York state on Thursday by an appellate court that found that he had made "demonstrably false and misleading statements" about the 2020 presidential election.

In a ruling released following disciplinary proceedings, the court concluded that "there is uncontroverted evidence" that Giuliani "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", reported CNN.

Giuliani's "conduct immediately threatens the public interest and warrants interim suspension from the practice of law," the court wrote.

Later, Giuliani's lawyers, John Leventhal and Barry Kamins, said that they were disappointed with the Appellate Division, First Department's decision suspending Giuliani prior to being afforded a hearing on the alleged issues.

"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 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," they said.

According to CNN, the suspension of his law license marks a precipitous fall for the former New York City mayor, once considered an accomplished and formidable force in legal circles.

In its ruling, the New York appellate court wrote of Giuliani that his "false statements were made to improperly bolster respondent's narrative that due to widespread voter fraud, victory in the 2020 United States presidential election was stolen from his client."

In certain cases, according to the court's ruling, Giuliani acknowledged that the statements he made were untrue, but claimed he didn't knowingly make a false statement.

The court concluded, however: "There is simply no proof to support this explanation."

In other cases, the court said Giuliani failed to provide any source at all for statements he made, such as assertions concerning the number of dead people he alleged voted in Georgia in the 2020 election, which he said at various times ranged from 800 to 6,000, CNN reported.

"The seriousness of respondent's uncontroverted misconduct cannot be overstated...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," it said,

Though Giuliani told the court that he would "exercise personal discipline" and refrain from making further statements about the election in his capacity as a lawyer, according to the ruling, the court found that he had continued to make false statements since the submission of the application for suspension of his license.

Joe Biden was confirmed the winner of the November presidential election by the Electoral College on December 14 last year after all 50 states officially certified the voting results. According to official results, Biden collected 306 electoral votes as opposed to 232 votes cast for the incumbent Trump.

However, Trump had refused to concede, alleging voter fraud, despite his campaign losing nearly all of some 60 legal challenges filed within the past month. This eventually culminated in a deadly attack on the US Capitol on January 6.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Fri, June 25 2021. 07:25 IST