Washington, D.C. –-(Ammoland.com)- Washington, D.C., Attorney General Karl A. Racine has joined New York State Attorney General Letitia James in issuing subpoenas to the National Rifle Association and now its NRA foundation.
The Washington, D.C. subpoena is to see if the gun rights group violated its Nonprofit Act. This is a direct threat to the NRA Foundation, the primary source of all NRA fundraising and monies. The targeting of any of the NRA organizations nonprofit status is an existential threat. If the NRA were to lose its nonprofit status, the organization could be dissolved, assets liquidated and membership disbanded.
“The Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia has issued subpoenas to the National Rifle Association of America (NRA) and the NRA Foundation, Inc., as part of an investigation into whether these entities violated the District's Nonprofit Act,” Racine said in a statement Friday.
Racine is seeking financial records, payments to vendors, and payments to officers and directors of the two entities.
The Attorney General office in Washington, D.C., has the authority to bring court actions to dissolve a nonprofit corporation. Racine will have to show that the NRA misuses funds or acts in a way that is contrary to its charitable purposes.
The NRA's attorney William A. Brewer III said that the organization would comply and cooperate with all subpoenas issued by the Washington D.C. attorney general. He insinuated that the NRA has nothing to hide from the city.
“The NRA has full confidence in its accounting practices and commitment to good governance,” Brewer told the Hill. “The Association's financials are audited, and its tax filings are verified by one of the most reputable firms in the world. Internally, the Association has an appropriate conflict of interest policy, which provides that all potential conflicts are reviewed and scrutinized by the Audit Committee.”
The subpoenas from D.C. follow New York's subpoenas which the state filed in April. The Empire State subpoenas came after a report from the anti-gun site The Trace. The report alleged financial mismanagement by the NRA that took the form of vendors and executives receiving hundreds of millions of dollars in payouts.
The NRA recently split ties from their long-time advertising agency Ackerman McQueen. The firm produced NRATV. The NRA paid Ackerman McQueen $42 million in 2017, which was 14% of the NRA’s total budget. The NRA requested analytics from the media agency, but Ackerman McQueen was either unable or unwilling to provide the data to the NRA.
The NRA filed a lawsuit against Ackerman McQueen claiming breach of contract. Last month the NRA shut down all new programming on NRATV effectively killing the venture. Stars like Colion Noir and Dana Loesch were employees of Ackerman McQueen and not the NRA. Loesch allegedly was making one million dollars a year.
The NRA has also paid $400,000 to an ex-football star for public outreach. The AGs are claiming that the money spent is contrary to its nonprofit purposes. The two AGs have listed other similar payments. These payments could also be an avenue to bring in donations to the organization.
New York State has also pressured banks and insurance provider to cut ties with the NRA and their Carry Guard program. With the exit of Chris Cox and Oliver North from the NRA over the alleged “coup” [it is not a coup when your bosses discuss replacing you] attempt of Wayne LaPierre, these anti-gun attorney generals feel that the gun-rights group were vulnerable to attack.
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) has been investigating the NRA for alleged ties to Russia. He is trying to find financial connections between the organization and Putin's regime. Democrats in the House have also expressed concerns about the relationship between the NRA and Russia.
Gun rights activist see all these attacks as a means for Democrats to shut down the NRA. Almost all the Democrat candidates for president have made shutting down the NRA a priority. It would be almost impossible for a Democrat to run as a pro-NRA candidate.
Attorney General Racine did not return AmmoLands calls.
About John Crump
John is an NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. He is the former CEO of Veritas Firearms, LLC and is the co-host of The Patriot-News Podcast which can be found at www.blogtalkradio.com/patriotnews. John has written extensively on the patriot movement, including 3%'ers, Oath Keepers, and Militias. In addition to the Patriot movement, John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and is currently working on a book on leftist deplatforming methods and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, on Facebook at realjohncrump, or www.crumpy.com.