Democrats call for disciplinary inquiry for Trump lawyer who called for violence against former election cybersecurity official

Democratic representatives. Kathleen Rice of New York and Tom Lieu of California on Wednesday co-wrote a letter to the Disciplinary Board’s office calling for an investigation of Joseph diGenova – a former U.S. District Attorney for the District of Columbia who is one of Trump’s lawyers.

CNN has contacted the DC Bar to confirm it has received the letter.

The letter comes just days after diGenova was accused of violating his code of business conduct and ethics while, during an appearance on “The Howie Carr Show,” he said that Chris Krebs, the former director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, “should be drawn and quartered. Brought out at dawn and shot.”

“If a licensed attorney in the District of Columbia can – while speaking as an agent – publicly demand the death of his client’s alleged adversaries without consequences, counsel has abjectly failed in its duty. must apply its standards in the same way and immediately open an investigation into Mr. diGenova, ”Rice and Lieu wrote in the letter.

DiGenova on Tuesday attempted to reverse her comments by portraying them as a joke, saying in a statement circulated by the Trump campaign: “To anyone listening to the Howie Carr Show, it was obvious my remarks were sarcastic and joking., Of course, wish Mr Krebs no harm. That was hyperbole in political speech. “

In their letter, Rice and Lieu said that diGenova’s conduct violated at least three of the DC Bar’s rules of professional conduct and echoed “violent rhetoric” previously uttered by Trump.

DiGenova’s remarks, while far more extreme than others made by White House officials during Trump’s tenure, underscored the administration’s crusade against whistleblowers and others who spoke out in opposition during the president’s term and refuse to adopt his conspiratorial view on the election.

Trump announced in November that Krebs would be “fired” from his leadership position in the cyber branch of the Department of Homeland Security “with immediate effect” because a statement by Krebs – in which he dismissed Trump’s claims of widespread electoral fraud – was “highly inaccurate.”
Krebs reiterated his assessment that the elections were safe in an editorial published in the Washington Post on Tuesday, and he responded to DiGenova’s comments, saying he was not “going to be” intimidated by these threats to tell the people the truth. American”.

“The 2020 election was the safest in US history. This success must be celebrated by all Americans, not undermined in the service of a deeply anti-American goal,” he wrote .

DiGenova’s remarks were quickly condemned Monday by the Government Accountability Project, a group of whistleblowers that warned that such threats could have a chilling effect on officials seeking to expose wrongdoing.

The comments also did not please a senior security official.

During a virtual panel discussion for the Aspen Cyber ​​Summit on the China Initiative, William Evanina, director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, said diGenova’s comments were grossly “inappropriate”, “embarrassing” and “disappointing”.

CNN’s Jim Acosta, Zachary Cohen, Devan Cole, Kaitlan Collins and Jake Tapper contributed to this report.

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