Michael Gaynor
Should Attorney Rudy Giuliani be disbarred for outrageous behavior?
By Michael Gaynor
January 7, 2021

Calling for trial by combat to settle a presidential election at that rally was akin to crying "Fire!" in a crowded theater.

The day after committing the astonishing blunder of calling for trial by combat to resolve the 2020 presidential election dispute, President Trump's lawyer, Rudy W. Giuliani, tweeted:

    "Our cause is to obtain an honest vote and to end voter fraud before it becomes a permanent tactic of the enabled and media protected Democrat Party.

    "Violence is rejected, condemned and counter productive.

    "ANTIFA involvement is no excuse.

    "It contradicts our values."

THAT is what Giuliani should have said when he addressed the huge rally near the Capitol as Congress convened to deal with certification of the 2020 presidential election results. Instead Giuliani called for trial by combat to decided the winner. Really!

Wikipedia explains what trial by combat (also known as trial by battle) is:

    "Trial by combat (also wager of battle, trial by battle or judicial duel) was a method of Germanic law to settle accusations in the absence of witnesses or a confession in which two parties in dispute fought in single combat; the winner of the fight was proclaimed to be right. In essence, it was a judicially sanctioned duel. It remained in use throughout the European Middle Ages, gradually disappearing in the course of the 16th century."

The Free Dictionary tells us that trial by combat is "a method of trying an accused person or of settling a dispute by a personal fight between the two parties involved or, in some circumstances, their permitted champions, in the presence of a judge."

The Free Dictionary also notes that trial by combat was introduced to England after the Norman Conquest and abolished in 1819.

As to the United States, Wikipedia notes:

    "At the time of independence in 1776, trial by combat had not been abolished and it has never formally been abolished since. The question of whether trial by combat remains a valid alternative to civil action has been argued to remain open, at least in theory. In McNatt v. Richards (1983), the Delaware Court of Chancery rejected the defendant's request for 'trial by combat to the death' on the grounds that dueling was illegal. In Forgotten Trial Techniques: The Wager of Battle, Donald J. Evans set out the possibility of a trial by battle in the setting of a lawyer's office. A tongue-in-cheek motion during 2015 for trial by combat in response to a civil suit was rejected in 2016. In 2020, a man named David Zachary Ostrom requested Trial by Combat in response to a custody and property dispute with his ex-wife over their kids. Following Ostrom requesting trial by combat, he was court-ordered to be administered a sanity test, and was temporarily restricted parenting rights with his kids. Upon successfully clearing his sanity test David's parenting time was restored. David had admitted that he initially requested trial by combat to get media attention around his case."

During the 2020 presidential campaign Democrat candidate Joseph Biden publicly spoke about his desire to take President Trump out behind the school, but never challenged President Trump to physical combat.

Rudy Giuliani calling for trial by combat to resolve the presidential election dispute was not funny at all and the foreseeable assault on the Capitol that followed not only led to the tragic death of a Trump supporter who had served in the military, but shifted the public focus away from whether the presidency was being stolen to the obvious need to uphold the rule of law and to maintain order.

Fighting questionable election tallies in court and in Congress is both a right and duty.

Calling for trial by combat to settle a presidential election at that rally was akin to crying "Fire!" in a crowded theater.

In 1804 when the Duke of Enghien was executed by Napoleon, the Bonapartist minister of police Joseph Fouché said of the incident, “It was worse than a crime, it was a blunder."

Giuliani became known as "America's Mayor" for the admirable way that he dealt with the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers in New York on September 11, 2001, nearly twenty years ago.

Now Giuliani will go down in history as the blunderer who undermined the Make America Great Again movement and proving what really happened in the disputed battleground states will be about as hard as proving the truth about the setting of the Reichstag Fire.

© Michael Gaynor


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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Michael Gaynor

Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member... (more)


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