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N.Y. State Court Suspends Giuliani From Practicing Law Over 2020 Vote Fraud Claims

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani has been suspended from practicing law on an interim basis over his role in pushing false voter fraud claims. He will be afforded a chance for a post-suspension hearing to challenge the court decision.
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani has been suspended from practicing law on an interim basis over his role in pushing false voter fraud claims. He will be afforded a chance for a post-suspension hearing to challenge the court decision.

Updated June 24, 2021 at 3:16 PM ET

A New York state court has suspended Rudy Giuliani from practicing law after concluding that he made false statements alleging rampant fraud to try to overturn former President Donald Trump's loss in the 2020 election.

In a 33-page decision released Thursday, a New York state appellate court said there was "uncontroverted evidence" that Giuliani "communicated demonstrably false and misleading statement 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."

Giuliani was a leading voice — on TV, in court, before state lawmakers and once even in front of a Philadelphia landscaping company — pushing Trump's baseless claims that the 2020 election was stolen.

The New York court ruling says Giuliani's statements were made to fuel the false narrative that the election was rigged and that Trump was the rightful winner.

"We conclude that respondent's conduct immediately threatens the public interest and warrants interim suspension from the practice of law, pending further proceedings," it says.

It also says the seriousness of Giuliani's actions "cannot be overstated" and points to the ripple effects of his falsehoods.

"This country is being torn apart by continued attacks on the legitimacy of the 2020 election and of our current president, Joseph R. Biden," it says.

There was no immediate comment from Giuliani, although on Twitter he retweeted posts that criticized the decision to suspend his license.

His attorneys, meanwhile, said they were "disappointed" by the court's decision to suspend Giuliani "prior to being afforded a hearing on the issues that are alleged."

"This is unprecedented as we believe that our client does not pose a present danger to the public interest," John Leventhal and Barry Kamins said in a statement. "We believe that once the issues are fully explored at a hearing Mr. Giuliani will be reinstated as a valued member of the legal profession that he has served so well in his many capacities for so many years."

As of now, Giuliani has been suspended on an interim basis. He will be afforded an opportunity for a post-suspension hearing to challenge the decision.

Still, the suspension marks yet another remarkable fall from grace for Giuliani, who was the U.S. attorney for Manhattan and later served two terms as the mayor of New York City.

Giuliani is also facing legal peril in an unrelated matter. He's under federal investigation over potential violations of foreign lobbying laws related to his work tied to Ukraine. FBI agents searched his Manhattan apartment and office in April and seized his computers and cellphones as part of that investigation.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.