Giuliani is disbarred in New York as court finds he repeatedly lied about Trump's 2020 election loss

NEW YORK (AP) — Rudy Giuliani, the former New York City mayor, federal prosecutor and legal adviser to Donald Trump, was disbarred in New York on Tuesday after a court found he repeatedly made false statements about Trump's 2020 election loss.

The Manhattan appeals court ruled Giuliani, who had his New York law license suspended in 2021 for making false statements around the election, is no longer allowed to practice law in the state, effective immediately.

“The seriousness of respondent’s misconduct cannot be overstated,” the decision reads. Giuliani “flagrantly misused” his position and “baselessly attacked and undermined the integrity of this country’s electoral process.”

“In so doing, respondent not only deliberately violated some of the most fundamental tenets of the legal profession, but he also actively contributed to the national strife that has followed the 2020 Presidential election, for which he is entirely unrepentant,” the court wrote.

Giuliani said Tuesday that he wasn’t surprised to lose his law license in his hometown, claiming in a post on the social media platform X that the case was “based on an activist complaint, replete with false arguments.”

The former mob prosecutor was admitted to the New York bar in 1969, but before pleading Trump’s case in November 2020, Giuliani had not appeared in court as an attorney since 1992, according to court records.

A Giuliani spokesperson, Ted Goodman, said the man once dubbed “America’s mayor” will appeal the “objectively flawed” decision by the midlevel state court. He also called on others in the legal community to speak out against the “politically and ideologically corrupted decision.”

Giuliani’s attorney Arthur Aidala was more measured, saying his legal team was “obviously disappointed” but not surprised by the decision. He said they “put up a valiant effort” to prevent the disbarment but “saw the writing on the wall.”

Giuliani argued in hearings held last October that he believed the claims he was making on behalf of the Trump campaign were true, but the court, in its decision, said it wasn't convinced.

“Contrary to respondent’s allegations, there is nothing on the record before us that would permit the conclusion that respondent lacked knowledge of the falsehood of the numerous statements that he made, and that he had a good faith basis to believe them to be true,” the decision reads.

Among other things, the court said it found that Giuliani “falsely and dishonestly” claimed during the 2020 Presidential election that thousands of votes were cast in the names of dead people in Philadelphia, including a ballot in the name of the late boxing great Joe Frazier. He also falsely claimed people were taken from nearby Camden, New Jersey, to vote illegally in the Pennsylvania city, the court said.

“These false statements were made to improperly bolster respondent’s narrative that due to widespread voter fraud, victory in the 2020 United States presidential election was stolen from his client,” the decision read.

The disbarment comes amid mounting woes for the 80-year-old Giuliani. In May, WABC radio suspended him and canceled his daily talk show because he refused to stop making false claims about the 2020 election.

Giuliani is also facing the possibility of losing his law license in Washington. A board in May recommended that he be disbarred, though a court has the final say.

He also filed for bankruptcy last year after being ordered to pay $148 million in damages to two former Georgia election workers over lies he spread about them that upended their lives with racist threats and harassment.

Giuliani on Monday asked a federal judge to convert his bankruptcy case from a reorganization to a liquidation, which would mean most of his assets would be sold off to help pay what he owes creditors. At the end of May, he had about $94,000 in cash on hand while his company, Giuliani Communications, had about $237,000 in the bank, according to court documents.

Giuliani is also facing criminal charges in Georgia and Arizona over his role in the effort to overturn the 2020 election. He has pleaded not guilty in both cases.

He’s charged in Georgia with making false statements and soliciting false testimony, conspiring to create phony paperwork and asking state lawmakers to violate their oath of office to appoint an alternate slate of pro-Trump electors.

The Arizona indictment accuses Giuliani of pressuring Maricopa County officials and state legislators to change the outcome of Arizona’s results and encouraging Republican electors in the state to vote for Trump in December 2020.

Giuliani built his public persona by practicing law, as the top federal prosecutor in Manhattan in the 1980s, when he went after mobsters, powerbrokers and others. The law-and-order reputation helped catapult him into politics, governing the United States’ most populous city when it was beset by high crime.

The Republican was lauded for holding the city together after the Sept. 11 terror attacks, when two hijacked planes slammed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center, killing more than 2,700 people.

But after unsuccessful runs for the U.S. Senate and the presidency, and a lucrative career as a globetrotting consultant, Giuliani smashed his image as a centrist who could get along with Democrats as he became one of Trump’s most loyal defenders.

He was the primary mouthpiece for Trump’s false claims of election fraud after the 2020 vote, infamously standing at a press conference in front of Four Seasons Total Landscaping outside Philadelphia saying the campaign would challenge what he claimed was a vast conspiracy by Joe Biden and fellow Democrats.

Lies around the election results helped push an angry mob of pro-Trump rioters to storm the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in an effort to stop the certification of Biden’s victory.


Associated Press reporters Karen Matthews and Jennifer Peltz in New York, Michael Sisak in Fort Pierce, Fla., Dave Collins in Hartford, Conn. and Alanna Durkin Richer in Washington contributed to this story.