You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Discipline Cases Against Rudy Giuliani, Jeff Clark Advance

Bloomberg logo Bloomberg 9/15/2022 Zoe Tillman
Rudy Giuliani, personal lawyer to U.S. President Donald Trump, speaks during a "Save America Rally" near the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. The House and Senate will meet in a joint session today to count the Electoral College votes to confirm President-elect Joe Biden's victory, but not before a sizable group of Republican lawmakers object to the counting of several states' electors. © Bloomberg Rudy Giuliani, personal lawyer to U.S. President Donald Trump, speaks during a "Save America Rally" near the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. The House and Senate will meet in a joint session today to count the Electoral College votes to confirm President-elect Joe Biden's victory, but not before a sizable group of Republican lawmakers object to the counting of several states' electors.

(Bloomberg) -- Legal ethics prosecutions against Rudy Giuliani and Jeffrey Clark are progressing along with state, federal, and congressional probes exploring the role that they and others played in aiding Donald Trump’s effort to undo the 2020 election.

Most Read from Bloomberg

The DC Bar’s Office of Disciplinary Counsel filed separate cases over the summer alleging that Giuliani and Clark -- both members of the local bar -- violated rules that govern the conduct of licensed attorneys. 

Clark, a former Justice Department official under Trump, responded earlier this month to the charges, which accuse him of dishonesty and making false statements. His lawyers argued that he did nothing wrong or unlawful. They say the DC Bar’s regulators lack jurisdiction to prosecute him over advice he gave to a sitting president, that the case improperly delved into executive branch discussions, and that Clark was being targeted for his political affiliation as a Republican.

Rudy Giuliani, former lawyer to Donald Trump, and his attorney Robert Costello, left, arrive at Fulton County Superior Court in Atlanta, Georgia, US, on Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2022. Giuliani, who was a lead lawyer in then-President Donald Trump's attempts to overturn Joe Biden's 2020 election victory, is scheduled to testify on Wednesday before a grand jury in Atlanta investigating possible efforts to interfere with Georgia's vote. © Bloomberg Rudy Giuliani, former lawyer to Donald Trump, and his attorney Robert Costello, left, arrive at Fulton County Superior Court in Atlanta, Georgia, US, on Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2022. Giuliani, who was a lead lawyer in then-President Donald Trump's attempts to overturn Joe Biden's 2020 election victory, is scheduled to testify on Wednesday before a grand jury in Atlanta investigating possible efforts to interfere with Georgia's vote.

“At no time has President Trump complained about the legal, factual, and/or policy advice he received from respondent or voluntarily submitted a dispute of that nature to the D.C. Bar for investigation and adjudication,” Clark’s attorney wrote.

Clark’s partially-redacted response, which was posted online Sept. 12, was earlier reported by the National Law Journal and Reuters.

The case against Clark focuses on a draft “proof of concept” letter that he wanted DOJ to send to Georgia state lawmakers claiming “significant concerns” about election fraud and suggesting the creation of an alternate slate of electors. Trump at one point considered installing Clark as acting attorney general when other senior officials refused to send the letter, according to testimony before the Jan. 6 congressional committee.

The Justice Department and local prosecutors in Georgia are investigating Trump’s allies’ efforts to create fake elector slates in swing states in the 2020 election. 

Investigators with Justice’s inspector general office carried out a search of Clark’s home in June. In a separate document posted on Wednesday, a committee of the DC Bar disclosed that, according to Clark, the warrant was issued as part of a criminal investigation into three federal crimes connected to Jan. 6 -- making false statements, conspiracy, and obstruction of justice. It appeared to be the first confirmation of which potential felony crimes were identified in the warrant as the focus of the probe.

Clark had argued to delay the disciplinary case in part because of the pending criminal probes and congressional investigation into Jan. 6. The committee submitted a report recommending against that request, arguing it wasn’t clear that Clark was actually the target of a federal grand jury investigation, since the warrant for the search of his home was only proof that investigators believed he had evidence related to criminal activity. 

Giuliani is separately charged with pressing a “frivolous” failed court challenge to President Joe Biden’s win in Pennsylvania. Earlier this month, a DC Bar panel scheduled a hearing in the case for Dec. 5. Giuliani’s response to the charges, filed in July, argued there was “good faith basis” to try to invalidate mail-in ballots in the battleground state at the time.

Giuliani last year was suspended from practicing law in New York.

DC Bar disciplinary cases proceed in several stages with a “hearing committee” considering testimony and evidence before making recommendations. The Board on Professional Responsibility then decides whether to accept those recommendations, at which point the case moves to the DC Court of Appeals, which is the city’s equivalent to a state supreme court. The judges of that court have the final word on whether to sanction a lawyer. Punishments can range from a written admonition to disbarment.

(Updated with additional information from the hearing committee report.)

Most Read from Bloomberg Businessweek

©2022 Bloomberg L.P.

AdChoices
AdChoices
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon