Dems demand probe of Trump lawyer who said ex-election chief should be killed

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Michael McAuliff and Chris Sommerfeldt, New York Daily News
·2 min read
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A couple of House Democrats formally called on a Washington, D.C., court to strip a Trump campaign attorney of his right to practice law Wednesday amid mounting outrage over the controversial lawyer’s death threat against a former U.S. election security official.

Democratic Reps. Kathleen Rice of New York and Ted Lieu of California filed the extraordinary request with the Office of Disciplinary Counsel at the capital’s Court of Appeals, where the lawyer, Joseph diGenova, is licensed.

“In the United States, we cannot and will not allow death threats — especially from those acting on the president’s behalf — to silence discourse, dissent and honesty,” the Democrats wrote in a letter to the counsel’s office.

DiGenova, who is part of the Trump campaign’s effort to subvert Joe Biden’s election, said in a Monday interview on the right-wing Newsmax network that Christopher Krebs, the former director of the U.S. government’s cybersecurity agency, should be killed for publicly debunking the president’s baseless claim that Joe Biden’s victory was facilitated by widespread voter fraud.

“That guy is a Class A moron,” diGenova said of Krebs, who was handpicked to his former post by President Donald Trump. “He should be drawn and quartered. Taken out at dawn and shot.”

Rice and Lieu — who are both licensed attorneys and former prosecutors — did not explicitly call for diGenova’s disbarment in Wednesday’s letter. Instead, they demanded that the counsel’s office launch an “immediate” investigation into his “egregious” conduct.

However, the disciplinary office’s most severe penalty is disbarment, and the Democrats hinted that they consider that punishment justified, saying diGenova’s threat against Krebs violated a slate of judicial codes of conduct and puts his “fitness as a lawyer” in serious doubt.

“If a lawyer licensed in the District of Columbia can — while speaking in a representative capacity — publicly call for the death of his client’s perceived adversaries without consequences, the counsel has abjectly failed in its duty,” the lawmakers wrote.

Rice put it more bluntly in a tweet earlier this week.

“These comments are beyond reprehensible. DiGenova should be arrested and disbarred. Period,” she posted Monday.

DiGenova did not return a request for comment Wednesday.

Trump, who is refusing to concede the election over his evidence-free fraud claims, fired Krebs in retaliation for his affirmation that the 2020 election was unhampered by widespread irregularities. Trump has not condemned or otherwise commented on diGenova’s comments about Krebs.

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