The Plight of Rudy Giuliani, As Donald Trump's Personal Lawyer Faces Disbarment

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani may soon face disbarment in the state of New York following his call for "trial by combat" at a rally just before the riot at the Capitol on January 6.

State Senator Brad Hoylman, a Democrat, is calling for Giuliani to be disbarred for his role in a "violent insurrectionist attack on the United States Capitol." Hoylman has filed a formal request with the state court system to begin the process.

Meanwhile, the New York State Bar Association has opened an investigation into removing Giuliani. NYSBA is a voluntary association that doesn't have the power to disbar him, but can revoke his membership.

These developments are a significant fall from grace for a man who once served as US Attorney for the Southern District of New York and went on to serve two terms as the city's mayor.

Giuliani was once called "America's Mayor" because of his role in the response to 9/11 and was considered a future Republican presidential candidate with a clear path to the White House.

But Giuliani's presidential ambitions petered out and by the 2016 Republican National Convention he was an enthusiastic supporter of Donald Trump.

This support has involved Giuliani in the president's most recent efforts to challenge the results of the 2020 presidential election by making unsubstantiated claims of mass voter fraud.

It appears that Rudy Giuliani is sweating through his hair dye. pic.twitter.com/OY3dGL1BtX

— The Recount (@therecount) November 19, 2020

While serving as Trump's personal attorney, Giuliani suffered a number of embarrassing incidents in 2020, starting with his appearance in Sacha Baron Cohen's recent Borat movie, released on October 16.

Giuliani was recorded on camera with a young woman playing Borat's daughter and posing as a news reporter. Giuliani can be seen with his hand down his pants and fiddling with his untucked shirt before Cohen runs in and shouts "She's 15. She's too old for you."

The former mayor had sought to pre-empt the release of the movie by talking about the incident on July 7, telling the New York Post: "I thought about all the people he previously fooled and I felt good about myself because he didn't get me."

Many who saw the scene weren't so sure Cohen "didn't get" Giuliani, but further embarrassing moments last year had nothing to do with a comic setup and everything to do with Giuliani's response to Trump's election defeat.

On November 7, Giuliani was due to give a press conference at the Four Seasons Hotel in Philadelphia but due to an apparent mix up, the event took place outside Four Seasons Total Landscaping, a small business located between an adult book store and a crematorium in the outskirts of the city.

Giuliani then appeared before a federal court for the first time since 1992 on November 17 in a performance the AP called "rusty." He misunderstood the meaning of "opacity" - a word not uncommon in legal proceedings - and at one point mistook the presiding judge for another judge in a separate case.

Two days later, Giuliani gave a press conference at Republican National Committee headquarters. Video of his remarks quickly went viral as streaks of what appeared to be hair dye dripped down the sides of his face.

Giuliani again went viral on December 2 after he was recorded telling one of his own witnesses, Melissa Carone, to shush during a hearing of the Michigan House Oversight Committee. Carone quickly became something of a celebrity in her own right and was mocked on Saturday Night Live.

There were some calls to disbar Giuliani as a result of these incidents but his speech at the "Save America" rally demanding "trial by combat" and the subsequent riot at the Capitol appear to have hardened opinion on the matter.

"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 on January 6.

Giuliani had stayed out of federal court for 28 years until returning to argue that the election was stolen from Trump. It's not yet clear if he will be disbarred in New York or what effect that might have on his livelihood - but it would likely prevent him from representing the president in an impeachment trial.

Rudy Giuliani has been asked for comment on this article.

Giuliani at the Michigan House Oversight Committee
U.S. President Donald Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis, a member of the president's legal team, confer during an appearance before the Michigan House Oversight Committee on December 2, 2020 in Lansing, Michigan. Guiliani faces possible disbarment following the riot at the Capitol on January 6, 2021. Rey Del Rio/Getty Images