Jun 10, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Giuliani faces D.C. Bar ethics charge over false election claims

Rudy Giuliani

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani in June 2021. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The office that regulates attorneys in the District of Columbia for ethical misconduct filed a charged against Rudy Giuliani on Friday over his false claims about fraud during the 2020 election.

Why it matters: The ethics charge from the disciplinary arm of the D.C. Bar brings Giuliani closer to completely losing the ability to practice law in the district, coming roughly a year after he was suspended from practicing in the state of New York over his erroneous claims involving election fraud.

  • Giuliani first granted membership to the D.C. bar in 1976 but has been an inactive member since 2002.

The big picture: The D.C. Office of Disciplinary Counsel filed the charge with the D.C. District of Columbia Court of Appeals.

  • The charge centers on claims Giuliani made in a federal court in 2020 supporting a lawsuit from Trump's campaign that sought to overturn the results of the presidential election in Pennsylvania through a federal district court order.
  • The central complaint in the 2020 lawsuit, which Giuliani supported, was that between 680,000 and 1.5 million mail-in ballots that had already been counted should have been invalidated by a district court because they did not comply with the state's election laws.
  • A judge in Pennsylvania later dismissed the lawsuit, saying the court "cannot justify the disenfranchisement of a single voter, let alone all the voters of its sixth most populated state."

What they're saying: The disciplinary counsel alleged that Giuliani, through his claims, violated two Pennsylvania rules governing professional conduct.

  • It claimed he "brought a proceeding and asserted issues therein without a non-frivolous basis in law and fact for doing so" and "that he engaged in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice."
  • In doing so, the counsel said Giuliani also violated standards governing the practice of law in D.C.

Read the charge:

Go deeper