Rudolph Giuliani Tries to Keep Law License at Disciplinary Hearing in Washington, DC

December 5, 2022 by Tom Ramstack
Rudolph Giuliani Tries to Keep Law License at Disciplinary Hearing in Washington, DC
Rudy Giuliani walks to a Senate hearing at the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. The Georgia Senate Committee on the Judiciary has formed a special subcommittee to take testimony of elections improprieties and evaluate the election process. (Rebecca Wright/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

WASHINGTON — Former New York mayor and presidential attorney Rudolph Giuliani made a plea to hang onto his license as a lawyer during a disciplinary hearing Monday in Washington, D.C.

He’s accused of disregarding his professional responsibilities of honesty by alleging voter fraud in court cases he filed to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

Most of the suspicions of the D.C. Bar’s Board on Professional Responsibility focused on a lawsuit he filed in Pennsylvania that sought to invalidate about 1.5 million of the state’s mail-in ballots.

Joe Biden won the state by more than 80,000 votes, prompting former President Donald Trump to direct his staunchest efforts to disqualify his opponent’s narrow margin of victory in Pennsylvania.

Giuliani was Trump’s point man for the struggle. He said during a hearing in federal court in Pennsylvania that Democrats were at the forefront of “widespread, nationwide voter fraud” to steal the election from Trump.

A federal judge and an appeals court dismissed the lawsuit after an audit showed there was no election fraud.

D.C. Bar officials said Giuliani “weaponized his law license” by filing a frivolous lawsuit based on his own political outlook rather than the facts of the case. The lawsuit violated a rule against “conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice,” they said.

D.C. Bar Disciplinary Counsel Hamilton Fox said during the hearing Monday that Giuliani was using legal action designed “to deprive millions of the people in Pennsylvania of their right to vote.”

Giuliani responded that he had a proper basis for his lawsuit based on a “deluge of materials” that indicated election fraud.

He also revealed for the first time that he intended the Pennsylvania lawsuit as the centerpiece of an effort to consolidate dozens of other cases nationwide alleging voter fraud into a single claim he wanted to present to the Supreme Court.

“My role was to show in Pennsylvania had followed the same set of eight or 10 suspicious actions, illegal actions, whatever you want to call them — irregular actions — that could not have been the product of accident,” Giuliani said.

He accused the disciplinary counsel of misconstruing the facts.

“He’s taking something out of context, which you could make look bad, but if you understand the timing of it, it’s exactly the opposite,” Giuliani told the disciplinary committee. “This is exactly part of what has created this injustice.”

He said he was “persecuted” by federal investigations despite the fact he only wrote one or two paragraphs of the lawsuit filed in Pennsylvania. Local attorney Ron Hicks did most of the work, he said.

Hicks withdrew from the lawsuit before it was dismissed by both federal district and appeals courts.

Giuliani was suspended from the New York bar last year for alleged “false and misleading” statements about the 2020 election.

The hearing in Washington is expected to last all week. Giuliani was the first witness.

The bar counsel has scheduled testimony from a University of Virginia expert witness to comment on the merits of Giuliani’s Pennsylvania lawsuit. 

After the hearing, the disciplinary committee will send a report to the full Board of Professional Responsibility to decide whether Giuliani should keep his license. He will retain a right to appeal to the D.C. Court of Appeals.

The case is In re: Rudolph W. Giuliani in the D.C. Court of Appeals Board of Professional Responsibility. 

Tom can be reached at [email protected] and @TomRamstack

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