New York Attorney General Letita James has gone to court over the gun right organization’s finances, which appear to issues….
The state has been on the organization’s case before…
The District of Columbia’s Attorney General on Thursday also sued the organization….
New York state is suing to dissolve the National Rifle Association, according to a lawsuit filed on Thursday, presenting a new, major threat to the country’s biggest gun rights group just months before the presidential election.
The civil lawsuit, which New York Attorney General Letitia James filed in state court, alleges that the NRA’s leadership spent funds improperly, engaged in self-dealing, and made false or misleading disclosures to the attorney general and the IRS.
It comes at an immensely precarious moment for the group. The NRA spent big to help President Donald Trump get elected in 2016, but now faces serious financial challenges –– in part because of hefty legal bills.
On top of that, the coronavirus pandemic has hit the NRA hard. It had to cancel its yearly meeting, which is usually a major fundraising event. And it has laid off scores of employees.
But even before the pandemic, the group’s leadership faced criticism for what many characterized as exorbitant spending. And an ugly legal fight with its former longtime advertising firm also pushed the group’s inner drama into the spotlight.
The lawsuit accuses Wayne LaPierre, the NRA’s longtime CEO, of using “a secret ‘poison pill contract’” to guarantee himself lifetime income from the gun group. And it says he hired unskilled people for senior roles to help him misuse the group’s finances to enrich himself.
The NRA’s president, Carolyn Meadows, said in a statement that the lawsuit was a “baseless, premeditated” attack on the NRA and on gun rights.
“You could have set your watch by it: the investigation was going to reach its crescendo as we move into the 2020 election cycle,” she said. “It’s a transparent attempt to score political points and attack the leading voice in opposition to the leftist agenda. This has been a power grab by a political opportunist – a desperate move that is part of a rank political vendetta. Our members won’t be intimidated or bullied in their defense of political and constitutional freedom.”
Trump criticized the lawsuit in brief remarks shortly after it became public….