A prominent lawyers' group filed an 18-page ethics complaint calling for Rudy Giuliani's law license to be suspended over his false voter-fraud claims

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Ashley Collman
·4 min read
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rudy giuliani
Rudy Giuliani. BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP via Getty Images
  • A non-partisan lawyers' group filed an ethics complaint against Rudy Giuliani on Thursday.

  • The group wants Giuliani's law license suspended while his work for Trump is investigated.

  • His lawsuits to overturn the election were "frivolous" and a "campaign of falsehoods," it said.

  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

A prominent lawyers' group filed an 18-page ethics complaint against Rudy Giuliani on Thursday, asking that his law license be temporarily suspended while an investigation into his work as Trump's personal attorney is conducted.

Giuliani, a former prosecutor and New York City mayor, has widely been criticized for his role leading Trump's failed attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

None of the dozens of legal cases Giuliani mounted in battleground states panned out, since he never provided proof of widespread voter fraud. On January 6, he also called for a "trial by combat" moments before a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol.

Shortly after the riot the New York Bar Association said it would consider expelling Giuliani, and a New Jersey congressman and New York State senator have said that they filed complaints to disbar Giuliani.

But according The New York Times, the latest complaint from the non-partisan group Lawyers Defending American Democracy "perhaps the most serious condemnation of Mr. Giuliani's conduct to date."

rudy giuliani donald trump
Giuliani with then-President-elect Donald Trump in Bedminster, New Jersey, in November 2016. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

'Unworthy of the privilege of practicing law'

In a letter to the attorney grievance committee of the appellate division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, the group said Giuliani violated his oath as a lawyer to support the Constitution by spreading lies to undermine the results of the election.

While lawyers have the right to represent their clients "zealously" and "engage in political speech," the signatories said Giuliani crossed an ethical line by abusing the judicial process and engaging in deceit.

They said Giuliani "knew that his claims of widespread fraud were false," but continued to lend "his stature and status as a lawyer" to Trump's legal effort to overturn the results of the election.

In doing so, he undermined "the most fundamental of the rights protected by the Constitution ... the right to vote," they said.

They added that Giuliani's actions in trying to overturn the election "show Mr. Giuliani to be unworthy of the privilege of practicing law."

The group also asked that Giuliani's law license be temporarily suspended while an investigation into his acts are investigated.

It's unclear if the committee has followed that advice. Insider has contacted the committee for comment.

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Brian Faughnan, a lawyer in Tennessee who defends other lawyers in ethics matters, told Reuters that attorney disciplinary bodies typically don't announce when they start an investigation, but they will reveal when they have handed down punishments.

While it's unusual for an attorney to be suspended or disbarred, Faughnan told Reuters that the Thursday letter laid out strong evidence against Giuliani, and that he "would be worried" if a complaint like that was filed against one of his clients.

As of Friday morning, more than 1,000 people have signed the letter on the group's website.

The letter was initially sent with over 40 signatures from prominent attorneys including former acting US Attorney General Stuart M. Gerson, former US district judges H. Lee Sarokin and Fern M. Smith, and two former state attorneys general, Scott Harshbarger of Massachusetts and Grant Woods of Arizona.

Giuliani did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment on Friday.

But according to The Times, he did address the complaint in his Thursday radio show, calling the people who signed it "idiots" and "malicious left-wingers."

"The whole purpose of this is to disbar me from my exercising my right of free speech and defending my client, because they can't fathom the fact that maybe, just maybe, they may be wrong," Giuliani said.

Read the full complaint against Giuliani here»

Read the original article on Business Insider