Giuliani threatened with jail as he yells at judge during chaotic bankruptcy hearing

Giuliani threatened with jail as he yells at judge during chaotic bankruptcy hearing

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Louise Thomas

Rudy Giuliani’s bankruptcy hearing devolved into chaos when the former New York City mayor interrupted the court after a lawyer for his creditors said she would consider seeking prison time for his alleged “bankruptcy crimes.”

At the hearing on Wednesday morning, Rachel Strickland, lawyer for the two election workers who Giuliani defamed and now owes $148m, argued in favor of dismissing the Chapter 11 bankruptcy case.

She said that she feared Giuliani would get a “hall pass” if the case was not dismissed, citing his pattern of filing late and inaccurate financial reports.

Strickland then suggested that Giuliani had committed “bankruptcy crimes”, and that she would seek jail time, not financial repercussions.

Giuliani, who was on the call, then interjected, yelling: “Would someone get them on the phone?”

The judge then asked for Giuliani’s microphone to be muted.

“Your honor, this is Rudolph Giuliani,” he told the judge, adding that Strickland’s comments were “highly defamatory, your honor.”

Giuliani said he wanted a break but the judge said he would have to wait until after Strickland finished her presentation.

“Sir, everybody gets a chance to be heard but you cannot interrupt someone else while they’re being heard,” the judge said, before threatening to “cut his line off” if he didn’t stop talking.

Later in the hearing, Giuliani’s lawyer Gary Fischoff told the court: “There were some statements that the debtor was going to commit bankruptcy crimes…Giuliani would not be committing any bankruptcy crimes.”

Strickland filed a motion on July 8 in favor of the dismissal of the case.

Although Giuliani had initially requested to convert the case from a Chapter 11, which would see his assets reorganized, to a Chapter 7, which would see his assets liquidated.

However, he changed his tune less than an hour before Wednesday’s hearing: Giuliani’s legal team signalled support for the dismissal plan.

However, lawyers for the creditors’ committee want to appoint a Chapter 11 trustee rather than dismissing the case. “We all suspect that if a trustee is appointed, Giuliani is going to sit on his butt,” Strickland said.

The judge said he hopes to make a ruling on the matter before the end of the week — but disclosed that he is “leaning toward dismissal.”

“I’m concerned that what’s past is prologue…and that issues about transparency will continue,” the judge explained.

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