New York Bar Association Launches Probe to Expel Trump Lawyer Rudy Giuliani

Rudy Giuliani may be disbarred in the state of New York over his role in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Giuliani urged the crowd to pursue a "trial by combat" over the 2020 presidential election, and they took him at his word. Now, according to a report by CNBC, The New York State Bar Association is investigating Giuliani and the possibility of revoking his membership.

The Bar Association announced this probe on Monday, noting that Giuliani has been one of the most ardent supporters of Trump's conspiracy theories about the 2020 election. The statement said that the blame for the Capitol riots "lies first and foremost with" Trump himself, "but the president did not act alone. 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."

"No person who advocates the overthrow of the government of the United States, or of any state, territory or possession thereof, or of any political subdivision therein, by force or other illegal means, shall be a member of the Association," the statement went on. "Mr. Giuliani's words quite clearly were intended to encourage Trump supporters unhappy with the election's outcome to take matters into their own hands."

At the rally in question, Giuliani told the crowd: "If we're wrong, we will be made fools of, but if we're right, a lot of them will go to jail... Let's have a trial by combat." It's not hard to see why the rioters took this as direct instruction, and judging by the Association's statement, there may even be a legal case to be made.

Still, the Association is not investigating Giuliani for that speech alone. It also noted that it has gotten hundreds of complaints about Giuliani since November, "and his baseless efforts on behalf of President Trump to cast doubt on the veracity of the 2020 presidential election and, after the votes were cast, to overturn its legitimate results."

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"We cannot stand idly by and allow those intent on rending the fabric of our democracy to go unchecked," said the Association. "Mr. Giuliani will be provided due process and have an opportunity – should he so choose – to explain and defend his words and actions."

If Giuliani is disbarred, it could complicate Trump's defense amid another impending impeachment. President-elect Joe Biden is set to take office on Wednesday, Jan. 20.