Giuliani sanctioned, Trump targets senators amid fallout over Michigan vote
LANSING — A New York court on Thursday suspended Rudy Giuliani's law license, in part because of false claims former President Donald Trump's personal attorney made in an appearance before the Michigan Legislature.
The decision came less than an hour before Trump lambasted two Michigan Republicans over a state Senate Oversight Committee report that concluded there is no evidence of widespread or systematic voter fraud in last year’s election.
Giuliani appeared before the Michigan House Oversight Committee on Dec. 2, roughly one month after Democratic President Joe Biden won the state by 154,188 votes. GOP leaders allowed him to present his own witnesses for a hearing critics labeled a “circus.”
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Among other things, Giuliani used the House hearing to claim Michigan’s election was a "con job" and urged legislators to "have the courage" to overturn it, which they did not do.
The New York appellate court, in deciding to suspend Giuliani's law license in that state pending further proceedings before an attorney grievance commission, cited his Michigan claims as an instance of "attorney misconduct."
Giuliani "advanced false statements of fabricated mail-in ballots" during the Michigan hearing and in other venues across the country, according to the decision.
More broadly, the former New York Mayor made "demonstrably false and misleading statements to courts, lawmakers and the public at large" to claim the election "was stolen from" Trump, the judicial panel wrote.
"We conclude that respondent’s conduct immediately threatens the public interest and warrants interim suspension from the practice of law."
State Rep. Matt Hall, a Marshall who chaired last year’s Michigan House Oversight hearing and has defended it as a public service, was not immediately available for comment. The hearing was later parodied on Saturday Night Live.
In a statement, attorneys for Giuliani said they were disappointed with what they called an "unprecedented" decision to suspend their client's New York law license before he was “afforded a hearing on the issues that are alleged.”
"We believe that our client does not pose a present danger to the public interest," John Leventhal and Barry Kamins said in the statement provided to Bridge Michigan. "We believe that once the issues are fully explored at a hearing Mr. Giuliani will be reinstated as a valued member of the legal profession that he has served so well.”
The Michigan Senate Oversight Report released Wednesday and adopted by Republican lawmakers rebutted many 2020 conspiracy theories, finding no evidence for allegations of “dead” voters, “fractional votes” and internet-connected voting machines, among other things.
"Our clear finding is that citizens should be confident the results represent the true results of the ballots cast by the people of Michigan," Sen. Ed McBroom, R-Vulcan, wrote in the 35-page report. “The committee strongly recommends citizens use a critical eye and ear toward those who have pushed demonstrably false theories for their own personal gain.”
Trump lashed out at McBroom and Republican state Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey on Thursday, suggesting they were trying to “hide the truth” and urging Michiganders to "vote them the hell out of office!"
Shirkey is term-limited and cannot run for re-election to the Senate. McBroom declined immediate comment on Trump’s statement but told reporters earlier in the day that he expects to face a primary challenge next year.
“I told the truth,” McBroom said, defending his work on the report. “I worked hard to tell the truth, and the chips will fall where they fall.”
The suspension of Giuliani’s law license in New York is the latest blow for allies who pushed Trump’s false and unsubstantiated claims about the 2020 election.
Dominion Voting Systems, the subject of a global conspiracy theory linked to Antrim County, has sued Giuliani, fellow attorney Sidney Powell and businessman Mike Lindell for slander and defamation.
And here in Michigan, a federal judge last week ordered Powell and other attorneys who tried to overturn Michigan's election to appear in Detroit court for a sanctions hearing on July 6.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and the legal counsel for the city of Detroit are among those urging Judge Linda Parker to sanction Powell and colleagues for claims made in their failed lawsuit.
Nessel has also filed attorney grievance complaints seeking to disbar three Michigan attorneys and Powell, who is licensed in Texas.
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