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DC bar brings ethics charges against Rudy Giuliani over election fraud claims

By Tierney Sneed and Katelyn Polantz, CNN

The attorney discipline arm of the DC Bar has brought a case against Rudy Giuliani for pushing unsubstantiated election fraud accusations in a Pennsylvania federal court on behalf of Donald Trump after the 2020 election.

The disciplinary office filing, called a charge, further puts Giuliani’s status as a lawyer in jeopardy. Giuliani had already been suspended from practicing law by the New York bar as that office also investigates his election fraud efforts on behalf of Trump in court.

In the new filing from the DC bar, Giuliani is accused of violating Pennsylvania’s Rules of Professional Conduct.

He did so, the filing said, in that he “brought a proceeding and asserted issues therein without a non-frivolous basis in law and fact for doing so” and “engaged in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice.”

CNN reached out to Giuliani/s attorney but did not receive a response to its inquiry about the ethics charges.

The filing is the beginning of the process for Giuliani to have his license revoked or suspended in DC, separate from the disciplinary action he had already received from the New York bar while it investigates the professional misconduct allegations against him.

In the Pennsylvania case, the new disciplinary filings allege that Giuliani sought to “leverage the lawful rejection of two ballots by non-defendant counties into invalidating up to 1.5 million votes already counted.”

The DC Bar charges, filed by Disciplinary Counsel Hamilton Fox, allege that there was no “legal basis” for the constitutional claims Giuliani pursued in the Pennsylvania litigation.

The election challenge in question was a lawsuit filed days after the 2020 election in a Pennsylvania federal court on behalf of the Trump campaign. At oral arguments in the case, Giuliani claimed without evidence that the “best description of this situation is it’s widespread, nationwide voter fraud of which this is a part.”

“The only place we have it happening en masse is in the Democrat — heavily controlled counties that you can call counties controlled by a Democratic machine that have quite an impressive list of voter fraud convictions as part of their history and tradition. And all of the sudden, with this greater opportunity to do it, they did it on a grand scale,” Giuliani said at the oral arguments, which were quoted in the new ethics charges from the DC Bar.

The disciplinary filings said that Giuliani had “cited to the district court as a basis for his fraud allegations several sources that could not, as a categorical matter, prove that” the defendants in the Pennsylvania case had “committed or facilitated election fraud during the 2020 election.”

Giuliani also lacked evidence in his claims in the case that barriers erected at Pennsylvania vote-counting sites amounted to fraud, the new charging document said. Giuliani “should have known the ‘evidence’ he provided” in the case to claim mass fraud “relied upon false or faulty statistics and analysis.”

Of the 300 affidavits Giuliani provided in the Pennsylvania case, the DC Bar charges said they were “(a) unsupported, (b) unrelated to Trump voters (c) involve conduct outside the seven Defendant Counties, and (d) by their own terms were isolated incidents that could not have affected the presidential election’s results by offsetting the Biden majority of over 80,000 votes.”

The disciplinary process against Giuliani will now move to a hearing phase where he will be able to respond to the allegations. The charges will first be put before what is known as a hearing committee, which can consider evidence and testimony. In contested proceedings, according to the DC Bar’s website, the “Hearing Committee prepares a report and recommendation, with proposed findings of fact, conclusions of law, and a recommended sanction, which is filed with” the Bar’s Board on Professional Responsibility.

The DC Court of Appeals has the ultimate authority over the bar’s disciplinary proceedings, and the court reviews and approves any disciplinary actions that include the suspension or disbarment of an attorney accused of misconduct.

This story has been updated with additional details.

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CNN’s Kara Scannell contributed to this report.

Article Topic Follows: CNN - US Politics

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