The year 2020 wasn't particularly kind to Donald Trump's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani. Between that cringe-y hands-down-his-pants moment in Borat 2, the mysterious dark liquid running down his temple, and that disastrous presser at Four Seasons Total Landscaping, the former NYC mayor has attracted attention for all the wrong reasons. Unfortunately for him, things seem to have gotten even worse in 2021.
But has Rudy Giuliani really been disbarred? Let's investigate.
Has Rudy Giuliani been disbarred?
The short answer to this question is no — not yet, at least. But it is still very much a possibility.
On Jan. 11, the chairman of the New York State Senate's judiciary committee, Brad Hoylman, made a formal request to the state court system to strip Giuliani of his law license.
The Democrat cited Trump's lawyer's role in the "violent insurrectionist attack on the United States Capitol," according to The New York Times, as well as other ethical violations as Giuliani supported Trump's baseless election fraud claims.
“The codes of ethics we as attorneys swear to uphold are intended to safeguard both the public and the reputation of the profession itself,” Hoylman wrote. “A failure to hold a member of our ranks accountable for seditious acts and exhortations of violence is a failure to provide that safeguard.”
Hoylman's request to begin the review process for disbarment came on the heels of Giuliani and President Trump addressing a crowd of Trump supporters in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6.
“If we’re wrong, we will be made fools of, but if we’re right a lot of them will go to jail,” Giuliani said at the rally. “Let’s have trial by combat.”
Following the speeches, members of the crowd then marched to the Capitol, and then a violent mob stormed and ransacked the building while Congress voted to certify the election results. Five people died, including one Capitol officer, during the attempted insurrection; Congress went on to certify Biden's win during the early hours of Jan. 12.
Meanwhile — just hours before the formal request for disbarment was made on Jan. 11 — the New York State Bar Association decided it was considering expelling Giuliani from the group. The decision came after it had received “hundreds of complaints in recent months” about Giuliani related to his attempts to help President Trump overturn his election loss to Joe Biden.
“Mr. Giuliani’s words quite clearly were intended to encourage Trump supporters unhappy with the election’s outcome to take matters into their own hands,” a spokeswoman for the bar association, Susan DeSantis, said in the statement to The Washington Post. “Their subsequent attack on the Capitol was nothing short of an attempted coup, intended to prevent the peaceful transition of power.”
Rudy Giuliani has no business pretending to be a lawyer any longer. He disgraces the legal profession and should be disbarred.— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) January 11, 2021
Unsolicited advice: I think Rudy had best get a real lawyer to defend him at the disbarment hearing. https://t.co/SdpAEkfMVL
It's worth noting that the bar association doesn't actually have the power to disbar Giuliani. However, this investigation by his peers could lead to his removal from the group. Not to mention, it would be another hugely embarrassing stain on his 40-plus-year career in law.
As far as Giuliani's potential disbarment is concerned, it looks like we'll have to wait and see what happens with New York State Senate's judiciary committee.