Giuliani should be disbarred over 2020 election case, ethics panel finds


By Andrew Goudsward and Mike Scarcella

(Reuters) – Rudy Giuliani’s law license should be revoked over his work on a failed lawsuit challenging the 2020 election results on behalf of then-U.S. President Donald Trump, a District of Columbia attorney ethics committee recommended on Friday.

The committee of the D.C. Board on Professional Responsibility found that Giuliani, formerly Trump’s personal lawyer, a top Manhattan federal prosecutor and mayor of New York City, violated two legal ethics rules with the “frivolous” lawsuit filed in federal court in Pennsylvania.

The lawsuit, which a federal judge dismissed, sought to invalidate hundreds of thousands of votes following Trump’s defeat in the swing state. The D.C. panel found that Giuliani made sweeping claims of voter fraud that he did not have evidence to support.

The committee said Giuliani’s conduct “transcends all his past accomplishments” and was “calculated to undermine the basic premise of our democratic form of government: that elections are determined by the voters.”

Giuliani was dubbed “America’s mayor” following the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on New York’s World Trade Center.

“We are obviously disappointed with the committee’s recommendation but look forward to filing a vigorous appeal to the Board on Professional Responsibility and the court,” said Giuliani lawyer Barry Kamins.

The committee’s recommendation will now be considered by the full D.C. Board on Professional Responsibility, which oversees attorney discipline cases in Washington, D.C. The D.C. Court of Appeals will make the final decision on whether Giuliani should be disbarred.

The committee heard several days of testimony in December about Giuliani’s work on post-election challenges as part of an attorney ethics case brought by the disciplinary arm of the D.C. bar.

Giuliani’s lawyer previously argued that the Pennsylvania lawsuit raised legitimate legal issues about social distancing restrictions imposed on election observers and policies in some counties that allowed voters to address mistakes on mail ballots.

Trump put Giuliani in charge of the legal strategy to challenge the results of the 2020 election won by Democrat Joe Biden. He was one several lawyers allied with the Republican president who pressed debunked claims of rampant election fraud.

(Reporting by Andrew Goudsward; Editing by David Bario and Leslie Adler)

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