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Rudy Giuliani could lose his knighthood

Former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani after receiving his honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire at Buckingham Palace from Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II.
KIRSTY WIGGLESWORTH/POOL WPA/AFP via Getty Images

  • Rudy Giuliani is a knight. Yes really.
  • He could lose his knighthood following his efforts to overturn the 2020 election, insiders told The Daily Beast.
  • A prison sentence or the loss of his law degree could also result in forfeiture of his knighthood.

In the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks, Rudy Giuliani was widely hailed as “America’s Mayor” for his coordinated response with federal agencies and his comforting rhetoric.

Queen Elizabeth II awarded him an honorary knighthood a few months later. Because Giuliani is not British, he cannot use “Sir” before his name. But he can put “KBE”, a reference to “Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire”, at the end of the text, in accordance with British royal protocol.

Fast forward more than two decades, and Giuliani could be at risk of losing that honorary knighthood, according to The Daily Beast.

Earlier this month, a jury decided that Giuliani owes $148 million in damages to two Georgia election officials he defamed. In response, he declared bankruptcy.

The jury verdict is just one of Giuliani’s many legal troubles, which also include a criminal indictment in an election interference case.

The withdrawal of an honorary knighthood is rare. If Giuliani loses his, it will put him in the company of former Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and Italian fascist leader Benito Mussolini.

According to The Daily Beast, the British government’s cabinet may form a confiscation committee, which can consider recommendations for removals. These recommendations would then be sent to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who would pass them on to King Charles III, who would then decide whether to withdraw the honour.

According to the UK cabinet, it will “automatically” consider recommending that someone’s knighthood be stripped if they have been “censored or deregistered by the relevant regulatory authority or professional body”.

This could apply to Giuliani, who lost his ability to practice law in New York after spreading lies about the 2020 election and could soon lose his law license in Washington, DC.

If Giuliani pleads guilty or is convicted at trial in his Georgia election interference criminal case, it could potentially meet the criteria of having “been convicted by the courts of a criminal offense and sentenced to a sentence of ‘imprisonment of more than three months’. “.

Tom Brake, head of the democracy reform group Unlock Democracy and a former British MP, told The Daily Beast that Giuliani should lose his knighthood after trying to overturn the 2020 election results on behalf of former President Donald Trump .

“I believe that anyone who attempts to overturn a legitimate election result should not be worthy of an honor or a knighthood under the British honors system,” he said.

But the issue is also political. If Trump wins the 2024 election, British authorities may decide it’s not worth antagonizing him.

“I think it ultimately comes down to a political question,” Toby Harper, an expert on the British honors system at Arizona State University, told the Daily Beast. “Does the British government have the political will to approve, I suppose, the way in which American society or the American justice system has censored Giuliani?”

Read the full story at The Daily Beast »

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