The president of the New York State Bar Association announced Monday it has opened a probe into whether to remove President Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani as a member over incendiary statements he made before the Capitol siege and his efforts to cast doubt on the 2020 presidential election.
“This is unprecedented,” NYSBA President Scott Karson told The Post in a phone interview. “We haven’t had occasion to do this in modern times.”
Giuliani told thousands of the president’s supporters at a White House rally Jan. 6 that there had been widespread election fraud, and he challenged the results of the Georgia US Senate runoffs shortly before an angry mob breached the Capitol walls.
“If we’re wrong, we will be made fools of, but if we’re right a lot of them will go to jail,” he said. “Let’s have trial by combat.”
In a statement, the nation’s largest voluntary state bar association said that it had received hundreds of complaints in recent months about Giuliani’s efforts to undermine the election. The storming of the Capitol, which left five dead, was the last straw, according to a statement from the organization.
“Thankfully, Congress overcame this assault and fulfilled its constitutional responsibility in certifying the Biden-Harris victory,” the press release says. “However, we must address the root cause of this abhorrent incident, the blame for which lies first and foremost with President Donald Trump. But the president did not act alone.”
Giuliani has spearheaded efforts to overturn the presidential election with a flurry of lawsuits, which have been dismissed by the courts.
Karson said that the investigation would look into whether Giuliani had violated the organization’s bylaws, specifically, that “no person who advocates the overthrow of the government” can be a member.
Giuliani hasn’t yet been notified of the inquiry into his conduct, Karson said, but he’ll have an opportunity to defend himself against the potential expulsion. Removal from the NYSBA would not affect Giuliani’s law license or ability to practice.
The former New York-mayor-turned-Trump lawyer couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.