Rudy Giuliani, the infamous ex attorney of former US president Donald Trump, has become the latest victim of Trumpism.
The former New York mayor who was once a top Justice Department official and U.S. attorney in Manhattan, was on Thursday, suspended from practicing law by a New York court for promoting “false and misleading” theories supporting Trump’s claim that the Nov. 3 election was stolen.
He thus joins a growing number of unfortunate associates of Trump who traded dignity for loyalty and now have a heavy price to pay for it.
The court found Giuliani guilty of breaching Rules of Conduct, which “establish a framework for the ethical practice of the law and a lawyer’s duties as an officer of the legal system.”
“We 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.
“These false statements 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. We conclude that respondent’s conduct immediately threatens the public interest and warrants interim suspension from the practice of law, pending further proceedings before the Attorney Grievance Committee,” the court said in 33-page suspension order issued by a five-judge panel of the Appellate Division of the First Judicial Department of New York state Supreme Court.
Trump lost the presidential election to Joe Biden, but rejected the result on the false claim of widespread voter frauds, which was bought wholly by his supporters and pursued by his lawyers led by Giuliani. The conspiracy theories, which have come to be known as The Big Lie, instigated the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection that resulted in the death of more than five Americans and the second impeachment of Trump.
While Trump and many of his allies still hold on to the Big Lie, a push for truth led by Democrats is driving lawsuits against the promoters of the conspiracy theories.
Giuliani, who is also facing criminal investigation by the FBI for his dealings in Ukraine on behalf of Trump, had a $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit brought against him by Dominion Voting Systems, the company that supplied the voting technology used during the election. Dominion in the lawsuit argues separately that Giuliani, Lindell and Powell, Trump’s other lawyers, had each harmed its reputation by spreading dozens of false and misleading claims about the company and its role in the contest between Trump and President Biden.
House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi announced on Thursday “that the House will be establishing a select committee on the Jan. 6 insurrection.” The move, which came after Senate failed to establish an independent commission to investigate the insurrection, is likely going to indict many other Trump’s associates.
Although Giuliani’s suspension is temporary, pending the outcome of a full formal disciplinary hearing, he has joined a growing number of Trump disciples whose services to Trump brought misfortune. Giuliani’s suspension was ordered a day before his 52nd anniversary as a licensed lawyer in New York. For others, it’s far worse.
Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal lawyer, was sent to prison in 2018 for tax evasion, fraud and lying to Congress about his dealings with Russia on behalf of the president. Paul Manafort was sentenced to more than seven years in prison in 2019 for a slew of charges from Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election interference, including tax and bank fraud, and conspiracy against the United States. Rick Gates, a Trump campaign deputy, was sentenced to 45 days in jail on a plea bargain for charges of conspiracy against the U.S. and making false statements; Michael Flynn, Trump’s first national security advisor, pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.
George Papadopoulos, Trump’s former foreign policy advisor, was sentenced to 14 days in prison with a year of supervised release, for lying to FBI agents about his contacts with Russian intermediaries during the 2016 campaign. In fact, the Mueller probe resulted in 100 charges against 34 people, six of whom were Trump associates.
Although Giuliani believes that given the chance, he’d prove his innocence, overwhelming evidence contained in the order suggests he doesn’t stand a chance. What becomes of his fate if found guilty is not clear.