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“He claimed massive election fraud but had no evidence of it.”
Two and a half years after January 6, lawyers who helped Donald Trump use lies about election fraud to try to retain power are finally starting to face sanctions for their actions.
On Friday, a legal ethics committee recommended that Rudy Giuliani, who helped Trump’s legal efforts following election day in 2020, be disbarred in Washington. “He claimed massive election fraud but had no evidence of it,” the three-member panel said in a 38-page ruling. “By prosecuting that destructive case Mr. Giuliani, a sworn officer of the Court, forfeited his right to practice law.”
The three-member panel noted that Giuliani had a record of public service during his stints as mayor of New York and as a US Attorney. But “the misconduct here sadly transcends all his past accomplishments,” they said. “It was unparalleled in its destructive purpose and effect. He sought to disrupt a presidential election and persists in his refusal to acknowledge the wrong he has done.”
The DC case focused on Giuliani’s role in the legal effort to contest Trump’s defeat in Pennsylvania during the 2020 presidential election. “His hyperbolic claims of election fraud and the core thesis of the Pennsylvania litigation were utterly false, and recklessly so,” the panel said.
The recommendation that Giuliani lose his license must still be okayed by DC’s Board on Professional Responsibility and by Court of Appeals. One of Giuliani’s lawyers said he will file “a vigorous appeal.” Ted Goodman, a Giuliani spokesman, called the DC Bar Association’s leaders “an arm of the permanent regime in Washington,” adding: “This is also part of an effort to deny President Trump effective counsel by persecuting Rudy Giuliani—objectively one of the most effective prosecutors in American history. I call on rank-and-file members of the DC Bar Association to speak out against this great injustice.”
Giuliani also faces potential disbarment in New York, where his law license is already suspended.
The recommendation against Giuliani comes on the heels of disbarment proceedings in California against John Eastman, a former law school dean who helped form Trump’s plan for Vice President Mike Pence to falsely claim power to throw out Joe Biden’s electoral votes. Those hearings have been postponed until late August.