By Sarah N. Lynch
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The District of Columbia office that polices attorneys for ethical misconduct filed charges on Friday against President Donald Trump’s former attorney, Rudy Giuliani, over baseless claims he made in federal court alleging the 2020 presidential election was stolen.
The D.C. Office of Disciplinary Counsel alleges that Giuliani, who is a member of the D.C. bar, made baseless claims in federal court filings about the results of the 2020 presidential election in Pennsylvania.
A lawyer for Giuliani did not have an immediate comment.
The charges come a day after the U.S. House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol had its first prime-time hearing in which it outlined evidence that Trump and his allies sought to overturn the 2020 election and incite throngs of his supporters to block Congress from certifying President Joe Biden’s victory.
Giuliani, a former U.S. Attorney in Manhattan and New York City mayor, has been among Trump’s most fervent supporters, and repeatedly claimed without evidence that the election had been stolen.
The new ethics charges center on a series of legal challenges Giuliani made in Pennsylvania federal court in 2020. The charges were filed with the District of Columbia Court of Appeals Board on Professional Responsibility.
The complaint says Giuliani sought an emergency order to prohibit the certification of the presidential election, an order to invalidate ballots cast by certain voters in seven counties, and other orders that would have permitted the state’s assembly to choose its electors and declare Trump the winner in Pennsylvania.
The charges say his conduct violated two professional conduct rules in Pennsylvania that bar attorneys from bringing frivolous proceedings without a basis in law or fact and prohibit conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice.
Charges can lead to the suspension of a license to practice law or disbarment.
The charges mark the second time that a bar office has taken action against Giuliani.
His New York law license was suspended in June 2021 after a state appeals court found that he made “demonstrably false and misleading” statements that widespread voter fraud undermined the election.
Giuliani’s DC law license was temporarily suspended after the New York decision.
Apart from having two of his law licenses suspended, Giuliani’s reputation has been stained by his dealings with Ukraine and he is being probed by Manhattan federal prosecutors over those business ties.
He began representing Trump, a fellow Republican and New Yorker, in April 2018 in connection with then-Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation that documented Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Giuliani has not been charged with criminal wrongdoing. His lawyer has said the federal probe is politically motivated.
(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch in WashingtonAdditional reporting by Karen Freifeld in New YorkEditing by Noeleen Walder and Matthew Lewis)