On Thursday, New York Attorney General Letitia James announced that her office filed a lawsuit to dissolve the National Rifle Association (NRA) after uncovering rampant fraud and self-dealing. In a response on Thursday, the NRA hit back, tweeting, “bring it on.”
In a press conference on Thursday, James outlined a case that focused on Wayne LaPierre, who she said has lived a lavish lifestyle over the past few years funded by NRA donors. As a tax-exempt nonprofit, the NRA is subject to certain laws, which James said they broke.
LaPierre has been with the NRA for 40 years and he recently survived a power struggle in the leadership of the organization, which lead to former NRA president Oliver North leaving the group.
The New York attorney general said that LaPierre “visited the Bahamas by private air charter at least eight times in an approximate three-year period with his family at a cost of more than $500,000 to the NRA.”
She said that LaPierre also “allotted several million dollars annually in NRA funds for private security costs for himself and his family without sufficient oversight on their use. He received more than $1.2 million dollars in reimbursement in just a four-year period for expenditures that included gifts … and membership fees at golf clubs, hotels and other member clubs.”
New York AG Letitia James says NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre is the “central figure” in the organization’s suspected financial schemes, and she details instances of him allegedly using millions of dollars in NRA assets for personal and family expenses https://t.co/Nj065CIsxp pic.twitter.com/kkJ3ZCihfY
— CBS News (@CBSNews) August 6, 2020
The NRA responded, “The NYAG’s actions are an affront to democracy and freedom. This is an unconstitutional, premeditated attack aiming to dismantle and destroy the NRA – the fiercest defender of America’s freedom at the ballot box for decades. The NRA is well governed, financially solvent, and committed to good governance. We’re ready for the fight. Bring it on.”
(2/2) The NRA is well governed, financially solvent, and committed to good governance. We’re ready for the fight. Bring it on.”
— NRA (@NRA) August 6, 2020
LaPierre’s well-documented lavish lifestyle is not the only black-eye for the organization in recent history. In 2018, a woman named Maria Butina plead guilty to being a Russian asset tasked with infiltrating American political groups and the FBI said that she used the NRA as a back-channel to gain access to American elected officials.