U.S.A. – -(Ammoland.com)- “New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit seeking to dissolve the National Rifle Association (NRA), the largest and most influential pro-gun organization in the nation,” the AG’s office announced in a Thursday press release. “Attorney General James charges the organization with illegal conduct because of their diversion of millions of dollars away from the charitable mission of the organization for personal use by senior leadership, awarding contracts to the financial gain of close associates and family, and appearing to dole out lucrative no-show contracts to former employees in order to buy their silence and continued loyalty.”
Specifically named in the lawsuit are Executive Vice-President Wayne LaPierre, former Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Wilson “Woody” Phillips, former Chief of Staff and the Executive Director of General Operations Joshua Powell, and Corporate Secretary and General Counsel John Frazer. All are alleged to have failed in their duties to manage Association funds and “failing to follow numerous state and federal laws,” supposedly resulting in losses of more than $64 million.
As a side note, it will be interesting to note who could have been charged but has not been. A tip from a credible source from a year ago told me “a highly placed NRA exec has been offered immunity by the New York AG” but I have not been able to document it. Perhaps as this story unfolds we will find out if there was any basis for the tip.
Such politically-motivated action on the part of James has not been unexpected. This diverts NRA focus and resources away from the November election at a time when both are most needed if the Democrat agenda against the right to keep and bear arms is to be effectively politically opposed. It’s no accident that the timing coincides with the Manhattan District Attorney is making headlines investigating President Donald Trump for “criminal conduct” related to his and the Trump organization’s personal and corporate tax returns.
In short, this is war, and the intent is for Democrats to rule in November, at which point the party’s agenda on guns will be unleashed with a vengeance. James is one of the players in that effort, as evidenced by her going after 16 gun companies for allegedly “violating” the state’s “ghost gun” laws, and then refusing to publicly identify who she was threatening (Disclosure: My FOIL appeal was rejected where I argued that transparency of government actions against gun companies is in the public interest, and I do not have the resources to challenge New York in court.)
Many, including gun owners and NRA members like myself, will note that in many ways NRA has brought this down upon itself. It also shows why I’ve maintained LaPierre is hanging on for dear life in spite of calls for his resignation before members will donate any more money. There’s no way he can front the legal bills he’ll be incurring on his own.
We’ll now get a chance to see for ourselves how high-powered the NRA’s top lawyer, William Brewer, a Democrat, really is. A statement just released by NRA on Twitter gives us an idea of the legal strategy he will pursue.
“This was a baseless, premeditated attack on our organization and the Second Amendment freedoms it fights to defend,” NRA responded. “You could have set your watch by it: the investigation was going to reach its crescendo as we move into the 2020 election cycle.
“It’s a transparent attempt to score political points and attack the leading voice in opposition to the leftist agenda,” the response continued. “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,” the statement concluded. “As evidenced by the lawsuit filed by the NRA today against the NY AG, we not only will not shrink from this fight – we will confront it and prevail.”
We shall see. By circling the wagons around Wayne LaPierre and his questionable leadership, and by controlling the board of directors and repelling attempts to reform things, finding members willing to donate to these legal actions may prove to be the biggest challenge.
BREAKING UPDATE: Karl A. Racine, Attorney General for the District of Columbia, announced a lawsuit Friday against the NRA Foundation.
About David Codrea:
David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating/defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” is a regularly featured contributor to Firearms News, and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.