A District of Columbia court has suspended former President Donald Trump’s most prominent attorney, Rudy Giuliani, from practicing law in the nation’s capital, roughly two weeks after a New York court took action against the former New York mayor for his efforts to overturn the 2020 election.
Giuliani, who has claimed rampant fraud during the 2020 presidential election, will be banned from practicing law in Washington at least until New York resolves his case, and possibly longer depending on how the District decides to proceed on the matter, the D.C. Court of Appeals ruled on Wednesday. A New York court suspended Giuliani from the New York bar on June 24 for his “false and misleading” statements on behalf of Trump and the 2020 election.
Giuliani did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday’s suspension.
“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,” a five-judge New York Supreme Court appellate panel concluded in a per curiam opinion issued on June 24.
The judges added that Giuliani’s conduct “threatens the public interest,” therefore warranting an interim suspension from practicing law. The court panel said an interim suspension, as imposed on Giuliani, is an action taken only in the most serious cases of alleged misconduct.
Giuliani argued that being punished for his public advocacy was a violation of his First Amendment free speech rights, according to the New York Court order, but the court disagreed.
“We reject respondent’s argument,” the court said in its June 24 opinion. “This disciplinary proceeding concerns the professional restrictions imposed on respondent as an attorney to not knowingly misrepresent facts and make false statements in connection with his representation of a client. It is long recognized that ‘speech by an attorney is subject to greater regulation than speech by others.’”
Trump weighed in on the New York ruling in a June 24 statement, calling Giuliani a “great American patriot” and dismissing Giuliani’s suspension as “nothing but a Witch Hunt.”