D.C. Bar panel tentatively finds Giuliani likely committed ethics violation with false election claims

A panel of the Washington, D.C., Bar on Thursday made a tentative, non-binding determination that former President Donald Trump’s ex-lawyer Rudy Giuliani likely violated at least one professional conduct rule during his efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election in Pennsylvania.

The panel declined to specify what charge Giuliani likely had violated. It will release a final decision later after hearing recommendations related to what sanction Giuliani should receive, assuming the preliminary finding stands.

The action comes after Giuliani defended his work on a lawsuit that sought to toss the 2020 election results in the state at a hearing before a committee of the D.C. Board on Professional Responsibility last week. The lawsuit was rejected by a judge, and a federal appeals court refused to allow the campaign to file a revised complaint.

During the hearing before the D.C. panel, Hamilton “Phil” Fox of the district’s Office of Disciplinary Counsel told the panel that Giuliani, a former New York City mayor and U.S. attorney in Manhattan, “weaponized his law license to bring a frivolous action in an attempt to undermine the Constitution.”

Giuliani’s attorney, John Leventhal, argued that his client shouldn’t face charges because the judge in the Pennsylvania case did not accept and never considered the sole version of the complaint that Giuliani signed.

A New York appellate court suspended Giuliani’s law license last year, saying he made “demonstrably false and misleading” statements about the 2020 election while serving as Trump’s lawyer. Giuliani’s D.C. law license was temporarily suspended after the New York decision.

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