The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York ruled Thursday that they are temporarily suspending former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani from the practice of law based on a finding that he gave false statements to courts and others while representing former President Donald Trump.
The disciplinary proceedings were the result of multiple complaints filed against Giuliani, and are based on allegations of false statements made in court, in the media, and elsewhere about the 2020 election.
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“[W]e 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 ruling said.
Those statements, the court said, “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.”
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Examples of the statements included claims that more absentee ballots were submitted in Pennsylvania than were distributed, despite state records showing this to be false, and claims that thousands of dead people voted in Philadelphia (sometimes said to be 8,021, but also claimed to be 30,000), including former boxing great Joe Frazier. The court noted that the state canceled Frazier’s voting eligibility three months after he died in 2012. The ruling also said that Giuliani misrepresented the nature of a court case involving the election in Pennsylvania, where he made fraud-related arguments despite the fact that fraud claims were not being made.
Additional claims against Giuliani involve statements he made about large numbers of underage voters, dead voters, and votes cast by ineligible convicted felons, only for state investigations to show otherwise, statements that ballots counted by Dominion machines were manipulated in Georgia, and unsubstantiated statements alleging that varying numbers of illegal immigrants voted in Arizona.
Giuliani has claimed that any false statements he made were not made with the knowledge that they were false at the time.
The suspension is an “interim” one, and will be in effect as full disciplinary proceedings against him play out. The court recognized that this is a severe measure that they believe is appropriate given “an immediate threat to the public interest.”
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Giuliani’s statements are alleged to be in violation of the New York Rules of Professional Conduct, which govern the conduct of attorneys in the state. The court’s ruling said it is likely that when the full case has concluded, it will “result in substantial permanent sanctions” against the former mayor.
“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,” Giuliani’s attorneys John Leventhal and Barry Kamins said following the ruling. “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 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.”
Fox News’ Marta Dhanis contributed to this report.