Rudy Giuliani speaking to attendees at the Stop the Steal Rally last Wednesday
Middlebury College is considering revoking an honorary degree it conferred upon Rudy Giuliani, citing his role in "fomenting" the storming of the U.S. Capitol, college president Laurie Patton announced Sunday.
Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City, received the doctor of laws degree in 2005, long before he became President Donald Trump's personal attorney. In that role, he's been at the center of the president's effort to subvert the 2020 presidential election, which has been marked by false claims and failed lawsuits.
Giuliani spoke last Wednesday to those who trekked to D.C. for a Stop the Steal rally, just hours before attendees rushed the Capitol. He alleged, as he has for months, that the presidential election had been fraudulent.
"If we're wrong, we will be made fools of," he asserted. "But if we're right, a lot of them will go to jail. So, let's have trial by combat!"
The fiery remarks have proven controversial. Two Democratic members of Congress have urged the New York State Bar Association to investigate Giuliani over what he told the crowd, Newsweek reported.
The Middlebury Campus, the college's student newspaper, published an editorial Sunday calling for Giuliani's honorary degree to be revoked. The editorial starts by quoting Giuliani's commencement speech at Middlebury in 2005: “…Winning is wonderful. Winning in sports. Winning elections ... But the reality is that winning is only fulfilling if you do it through the rules, and you do it by being able to contribute to other people.”
The editorial further reads:
More than 15 years later, Giuliani spent months peddling false claims of voter fraud in an effort to subvert the results of a free and fair democratic election...
Giuliani has been unwavering in his propagation of this rhetoric, standing alongside the president to put America’s people and values alike in jeopardy. Even when the tangible dangers of this rhetoric became apparent on Jan. 6, as the mob breached the barricades to the Capitol, Giuliani tweeted, “To all those patriots challenging the fraudulent election…You are on the right side of the law and history.”
Revoking the degree would be a symbolic gesture, the editorial notes, and would follow decisions within days of the riot by Wagner College and Lehigh University to rescind honorary degrees given the president.
Patton's statement called the events of last Wednesday "an insurrection against democracy itself." She did not outline exactly who will consider the revocation, but said the college will have more to say "in the days ahead."