The New York State Bar Association said Monday it’s launching an inquiry into removing Rudy Giuliani from its membership.
“This decision is historic for NYSBA, and we have not made it lightly,” said a statement. “We cannot stand idly by and allow those intent on rending the fabric of our democracy to go unchecked.”
Giuliani, a lawyer for outgoing president Donald Trump and the former mayor of New York City, urged a “trial by combat” during a speech outside the White House Wednesday. Shortly thereafter, rioters stormed the Capitol, sending lawmakers into hiding and postponing the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s win. Six people in attendance died, including two Capitol police officers, one of whom committed suicide over the weekend.
The association condemned the violence it says was “orchestrated by individuals bent on subverting the will of the voters by disrupting the certification of the 2020 presidential election results.”
Among those individuals, the association makes clear, was Giuliani: “Hours before the angry mob stormed the Capitol walls, Trump’s personal attorney, Rudolph Giuliani, addressed a crowd of thousands at the White House, reiterating baseless claims of widespread election fraud in the presidential election and the Georgia U.S. Senate runoffs.”
The association said it has received “hundreds of complaints” about Giuliani. One of those complaints came from Reps. Ted Lieu and Mondaire Jones, who sent a letter to the NYSBA Saturday requesting an investigation into Giuliani’s involvement.
Per the association, Giuliani will be given due process and the opportunity to explain his words and actions. In the event he is removed from the group’s membership, he could still practice law in the state of New York. Disbarring in the state requires the approval of the Grievance Committee of the Appellate Division within the state court system.