A Washington-based legal disciplinary committee has unanimously recommended Rudy Giuliani be disbarred in the nation’s capital over his “frivolous” efforts to challenge the 2020 presidential election outcome on behalf of his former client, Donald Trump.
Giuliani, 79, “seriously undermined the administration of justice” when he filed a lawsuit to “change the result of the 2020 presidential election when he had no factual basis, and consequently no legitimate legal grounds, to do so,” according to the 38-page ruling issued on Friday.
The formal statement comes after the three-person panel heard evidence at a misconduct hearing in December.
“Respondent’s frivolous lawsuit attempted unjustifiably and without precedent to disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvania voters,” the assessment said of the former New York City mayor’s voter fraud claims in the wake of Trump’s humiliating White House loss.
“He claimed massive election fraud but had no evidence of it,” the scathing take-down continued.
“By prosecuting that destructive case Mr. Giuliani, a sworn officer of the Court, forfeited his right to practice law. He should be disbarred.”
The report details how Giuliani was enlisted by Trump the day after the election to challenge the results by bringing lawsuits in a handful of key states – including Pennsylvania, where Joe Biden won by a margin of about 80,000 votes.
The bombastic Queens native subsequently made “hyperbolic” allegations of election fraud in a Keystone State court in what the committee termed a “calculated” effort to “undermine the basic premise of our democratic form of government: that elections are determined by the voters.”
“Mr. Giuliani has not acknowledged or accepted responsibility for his misconduct,” the committee wrote of the investigation, which began when Giuliani was hit with ethics charges last summer.
“To the contrary, he has declared his indignation … over being subjected to the disciplinary process … and suggests merely an informal admonition or reprimand as an appropriate sanction.”
The ruling acknowledged the long shadow of Giuliani’s “conduct following the September 11 attacks as well as his prior service” as a federal prosecutor and mayor, but stated that his “misconduct here sadly transcends all his past accomplishments” and was “unparalleled in its destructive purpose and effect.”
The committee’s recommendation is not final. The assessment needs to be considered by both the DC Bar’s Board on Professional Responsibility and the district’s federal appeals court.
Ted Goodman, Giuliani’s political adviser, slammed the report as a “great injustice” in a statement to CNN.
“The decision-makers at the DC Bar Association are nothing more than an arm of the permanent regime in Washington,” Goodman alleged.
Giuliani’s own attorney previously told the committee that the former mayor had a strong basis for believing that his claims were indeed true, and that he was relying heavily on information passed on from others on the Trump campaign.
Giuliani is also facing an ethics review in New York, where his law license is currently suspended.
Donald Trump’s campaign brought over 60 fruitless lawsuits after he lost the 2020 election.
Several of these efforts have triggered disciplinary proceedings against the former president’s legal team. Former Trump lawyer Jenna Ellis was censured by the Colorado Supreme Court in March, while another attorney, Lin Wood, gave up his law license this week rather than be disbarred in Georgia.