Trump-aligned lawyer Rudy Giuliani gave a spirited defense of his 2020 election machinations Monday, contending he had an “obligation” to challenge the results on behalf of his client, former President Donald Trump.
Sitting for hours of questioning in the D.C. Bar Board of Professional Responsibility investigating whether he flouted ethics rules, Giuliani rejected accusations that a lawsuit in Pennsylvania he filed in the 2020 election aftermath was “frivolous.”
“You don’t start a lawsuit being able to prove — I mean, you’re very lucky when you do. You don’t start a lawsuit being able to prove but being able to responsibly allege,” Giuliani maintained, per CNN. “I was responsibly alleging based on the things that were told to me by other people. I wasn’t proving — I had a long way to go to prove.”
Around the time of his Four Seasons Total Landscaping gaffe, in which he inadvertently held a press conference adjacent to an adult film shop instead of the prestigious hotel, the former mayor of the Big Apple signed a suit to challenge Trump’s loss in Pennsylvania. The suit cited allegations of damaged ballots and other issues.
Washington, D.C., disciplinary counsel Hamilton Fox reportedly grilled Giuliani during the hearing about the lack of evidence to back up his jarring claims of election malfeasance. He also berated Giuliani, claiming he “weaponized his law license” to “undermine the Constitution,” Politico reported.
Giuliani chided investigators for unfairly targeting him and countering that oftentimes, lawyers don’t know the full breadth of the evidence of a case before discovery, according to CNN. His attorney, John Leventhal, also sought to undercut the notion that the Pennsylvania lawsuit was frivolous, underscoring the tumultuous and hazy fallout from the election.
Last year, the New York bar suspended him for uttering “false and misleading” statements during his 2020 election work for Trump. Claims that election fraud or impropriety deprived Trump of victory in 2020 have been roundly debunked by experts and officials.
Trump fumed over his election defeat over the weekend, arguing, “Massive Fraud of this type and magnitude allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution.”
In response to brewing backlash, including from Republicans, he later backpedaled and lambasted the media for peddling “DISINFORMATION & LIES” that he wanted to “terminate” the Constitution.
Monday’s hearing was the first step in the disciplinary review of Giuliani and featured witness testimony. After witness testimony concludes, the panel will issue a report to the full bar, and the matter will then be arbitrated at the D.C. Court of Appeals, per Politico.
Giuliani’s witnesses are set to deliver testimony Wednesday.