New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit on Thursday seeking to dissolve the NRA over what she described as a years-long pattern of corruption, The New York Times reports.
James announced her lawsuit on the same day that DC Attorney General Karl Racine filed a separate lawsuit against the NRA and its charitable arm, alleging that the NRA misused millions in the foundation’s funds.
James sued the group and four current and former leaders seeking to recoup millions of dollars she said they misspent.
The lawsuit accuses NRA chief Wayne LaPierre of using the group’s funds to fund his lavish lifestyle.
The lawsuit further accuses the NRA and its executives of “violating numerous state and federal laws” by enriching themselves and their associates and family members.
“It’s an ongoing investigation,” James said. “If we uncover any criminal activity, we will refer it to the Manhattan district attorney. At this point in time we’re moving forward, again, with civil enforcement.”
The NRA responded by filing its own lawsuit accusing James of violating the group’s First Amendment rights and alleging that her lawsuit was politically motivated.
“This is an unconstitutional, premeditated attack aiming to dismantle and destroy the N.R.A. — the fiercest defender of America’s freedom at the ballot box for decades,” LaPierre said. “We’re ready for the fight. Bring it on.”
“You could have set your watch by it: the investigation was going to reach its crescendo as we move into the 2020 election cycle,” NRA President Carolyn Meadows said in a statement.
Meadows said the investigation was “a power grab by a political opportunist” and said “we not only will not shrink from this fight — we will confront it and prevail.”
Trump defends NRA:
Trump, who received more than $30 million in financial backing from the NRA during his 2016 run, defended the group after the lawsuit was announced.
"I think the NRA should move to Texas and lead a very good and beautiful life — and I've told them that for a long time," he said. "Texas would be a great place — or to another state of their choosing. But I would say that Texas would be a great place and an appropriate place for the NRA. This has been going on for a long time."