Former President Donald Trump lashed out at what he called a “witch hunt” against his former attorney, Rudy Giuliani, following a New York court’s decision to suspend Mr Giuliani’s law license.
In a statement, the former president that Mr Giuliani was “the Elliot Ness of his generation” and the greatest mayor in New York City’s history, while blaming the “radical left” for Mr Giuliani’s suspension.
“Can you believe New York wants to strip Rudy Giuliani, a greatAmerican Patriot, of his law license because he is fighting what has already been proven to be a Fraudulent Election?” Mr Trump said on Thursday.
“[I]t’s nothing but a witch hunt, and they should be ashamed of themselves,” the former president continued.
His remarks followed a decision by the New York Supreme Court’s appellate division to suspend Mr Giuliani from practicing law in the state until a court order ending his punishment, a response to the former New York City mayor’s repeated false claims about widespread voter fraud and election irregularities that he argued were responsible for his client, the former president, losing the 2020 election.
Mr Giuliani argued in numerous settings, including in front of Michigan’s state legislature, that election officials in several key battleground states participated in a scheme to illegally add millions of ballots to President Joe Biden’s totals, and in particular alleged that voting softwares used in some states were used to falsify ballots.
The claims bore no basis in established fact, and the allies of former President Trump offered no evidence besides sworn affidavits from supporters of the president alleging that they had witnessed misconduct. Numerous states conducted official recounts and found little if any variation between the expected and actual vote totals. One instance of a Trump-supported recount in Wisconsin actually ended with his opponent gaining several dozen votes.
Nevertheless, the former president has continued to spread his false claims of proven fraud and even alleged, according to The New York Times, that he could be reinstated as president before the end of 2021 in private conversations with supporters at his Mar-a-Lago resort. Mr Giuliani, along with other top allies of the former president, has also remained adamantly in support of the claims.
The New York Supreme Court’s appellate division wrote on Thursday that Mr Giuliani’s conduct “immediately threatens the public interest and warrants interim suspension from the practice of law,” referring specifically to his false claims about the 2020 election.
“We conclude that there is uncontroverted evidence that respondent [Mr Giuliani] communicated demonstrably false and misleading statements to courts, lawmakers and the public at large in his capacity as lawyer for former president Donald J Trump and the Trump campaign in connection with Trump’s failed effort at re-election in 2020,” wrote the court.
The Independent reached out to Mr Giuliani’s lawyers for comment, but have not received a response.