And yet—despite practically no evidence that he’s practicing law, and mounting evidence that he’s engaged in potentially criminal and at least disgraceful, unethical activities—Rudolph William Louis Giuliani remains in good standing with the New York bar, at least through May 2020 when he’s due to reregister and submit his requisite CLE (Continuing Legal Education) credits.
The simplest reason could merely be that New York state’s Attorney Grievance Committee hasn’t gotten around to it yet. But it’s been asked. A month ago, Long Island congresswoman Kathleen Rice wrote to the committee, citing Giuliani’s “dishonesty” and “deceit” to argue that Giuliani was in violation of New York’s Rules of Professional Conduct and his oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution. Even without this complaint, the Grievance Committee could also act sua sponte where infamous criminal notoriety might instead suffice, as may have been the case when it disbarred Michael Cohen. But Cohen had pled guilty to felony charges, and Giuliani is still digging his heels in. Perhaps the answer is patience.
Or perhaps the answer lies in Giuliani’s fame. Beyond their shared New York origins, Giuliani and Trump are both politician-celebrity hybrid creatures, enjoying an inordinate benefit of the doubt from both the media and the criminal justice system. Scandals that would have sunk other politicians don’t easily stick to either—they both retain their ability to appear on television and deliver whatever lies are necessary to change the narrative that day. And during these inquiries, Trump and Giuliani’s fates seem intertwined.