The New York State Bar Association launched a historic investigation into US President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani on Monday for his role in supporting and provoking the storming of the US Capitol building.
Before the riots, which saw Trump supporters violently storm the Capitol to stop Congress from certifying the electoral victory of President-elect Joe Biden, Giuliani gave a speech where he called for a “trial by combat.”
“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 at the time, according to CNN.
The incident that followed saw gunfire, bombs brought to the site, people climbing the walls and lawmakers being forced to evacuate. It was highly publicized and resulted in five deaths, along with many arrests.
“As the nation’s largest voluntary state bar association, NYSBA has a responsibility to defend and protect the rule of law,” it said in a statement. “Based on these complaints, and the statement Mr. Giuliani uttered shortly before the attack on the Capitol, NYSBA President Scott M. Karson has launched an inquiry pursuant to the Association’s bylaws to determine whether Mr. Giuliani should be removed from the membership rolls of the Association.”
The investigation is further motivated by the fact that Giuliani could be seen as violating NYSBA bylaws by supporting “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.”
The bar association statement further made it clear that they had long received complaints regarding Giuliani’s “baseless” allegations of election fraud.
If found guilty by the bar, Giuliani could see his membership revoked. However, the association did say he will be given a chance to explain and defend his actions.
The statement follows calls by Democratic congressmen Ted Lieu (California) and Mondaire Jones (New York) for the bar to investigate Giuliani.
“We will hold responsible everyone involved with the attempted coup, including the attorney to [the president], Rudy Giuliani,” Lieu said over Twitter.
This is a developing story.