Administration

Rhode Island school revokes honorary degrees for Giuliani, Flynn

A Rhode Island university announced on Friday that it would be revoking honorary degrees given to Rudy Giuliani, the former New York mayor turned personal lawyer for President Trump, and Michael Flynn, Trump’s first national security adviser.

The University of Rhode Island Board of Trustees said that they were revoking the honorary degrees given to Giuliani and Flynn following a review by the Honorary Degree Committee.

The committee cited Giuliani’s participation at the Jan. 6 rally that precipitated the attack by a mob of Trump supporters at the Capitol, saying he “encouraged domestic terrorist behavior aimed at preventing Congress from certifying the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.”

The committee also noted that Giuliani’s law license was suspended in Washington, D.C., and New York state because of baseless claims he made about widespread voter fraud during the 2020 presidential election. 

The committee added that “the courts have determined that there is evidence that Mayor Giuliani has made false and misleading statements in representing President Trump and the Trump campaign in connection with Trump’s failed reelection efforts.

As a result, Giuliani’s Doctor of Laws Honoris Causa he received in 2003 was revoked.

Flynn’s Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters was given in 2014. 

The committee cited comments Flynn made in June 2021 suggesting the need for a military coup in revoking his degree. The committee also cited that he twice pleaded guilty to a felony charge of lying to the FBI.

“After reviewing the recommendation from the President, who endorsed the committee’s recommendation, the Board voted to approve the revocation of these honorary degrees,” Chair of the Board of Trustees Margo Cook said in a statement. “The Board of Trustees supports the University and its mission to uphold its values, especially its commitment to intellectual and ethical leadership and fostering an environment of diversity and respect.”

Giuliani, whom the Jan. 6 committee subpoenaed this week, previously had another honorary degree revoked from Middlebury College. Despite calls from current and former students last year to revoke an honorary degree from St. John Fisher College, a two-thirds vote threshold had not been met by their Board of Trustees.

The Hill has reached out to Giuliani for comment. The Hill could not immediately reach Flynn for comment. 

Tags 2020 presidential election Donald Trump Michael Flynn Rudy Giuliani Rudy Giuliani

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