NY State Bar Association launches inquiry into Giuliani

President Donald Trumps attorney Rudy Giuliani speaks to Trump supporters from the Ellipse at the White House in Washington on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, as the Congress prepares to certify the electoral college votes. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call

The New York State Bar Association has launched an inquiry to determine whether Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City and President Trump's personal attorney, should be removed from its membership.

NYSBA President Scott M. Karson has launched the inquiry pursuant to the group’s bylaws because of Giuliani's address to the crowd in Washington, D.C., before a mob stormed the Capitol building.

The bar says 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.

"If we’re wrong, we will be made fools of, but if we’re right a lot of them will go to jail," Giuliani said. "Let’s have trial by combat."

The mob later stormed the Capitol building, leaving several people dead.

NYSBA’s bylaws state that "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."

Get breaking news alerts in the FOX5NY News app. Download for FREE!

The NYSBA says it has received hundreds of complaints in recent months about Giuliani and his efforts on behalf of President Trump to cast doubt on the veracity of the 2020 presidential election.

The bar says the efforts included "the commencement and prosecution of court actions in multiple states without any evidentiary basis whatsoever. In each and every instance, these actions were appropriately dismissed by the courts in which they were brought."

The NYSBA says it has a responsibility to defend and protect the rule of law. 

The group says Giuliani will have an opportunity to explain and defend his words and actions.

In a statement the NYSBA says: "This decision is historic for NYSBA, and we have not made it lightly. We cannot stand idly by and allow those intent on rending the fabric of our democracy to go unchecked."

The Bar Association is a voluntary membership organization. Losing membership is not the same as being disbarred and banned from practicing law, which can only be done by a court order.

With The AP