Rudy Can Fail
Former U.S. Attorney and onetime New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani should have his law license revoked for "harming the country" as part of former President Donald Trump's effort to subvert and overturn the results of his 2020 electoral loss, a lawyer for the Washington D.C. Bar Association's Office of Disciplinary Counsel said on Thursday.
"It was a fundamental harm to the fabric of the country that could well be irreparable," Attorney Hamilton "Phil" Fox announced after a three-member panel found that Guiliani had likely violated at least one professional standard as part of his work to help Trump manipulate Pennsylvania's electoral results. "Any lawyer that engages in this kind of misconduct, harming the country as this has done, has at least got to realize that his or her law license is at risk."
While the Bar Association's panel did not specify which rule of conduct it had determined Giuliani most likely broke, chairman Robert Bernius left little doubt in the committee's finding, citing "clear and convincing evidence" that had been presented during days of recent testimony to determine whether Giuliani should face professional consequences for his role in the 2020 electoral scheme.
While Bernius stressed that the panel's decision — set to be officially submitted to the district's full Board on Professional Responsibility — was "preliminary" and "non-binding," it nevertheless represents a significant advance in the ongoing process to hold Giuliani professionally accountable for his work on Trump's behalf. Last year the New York State Bar Association suspended Giuliani's law license for making "demonstrably false and misleading statements" about the 2020 election results. His license was suspended in D.C. shortly thereafter.
The final decision on Giuliani's fate rests in the hands of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. Attorney John Leventhal, who represented Giuliani during the panel hearings, has argued for the least onerous punishments, such as a written or oral reprimand. Anything more, Leventhal cautioned to NBC News, and "you're going to chill effective advocacy in the future."