By Daily Mail. The NRA is counter-suing the New York Attorney General, claiming her bombshell lawsuit on Thursday that seeks to dismantle the gun organization is a ‘premeditated’ political attack that has been deliberately timed to thwart Trump’s reelection chances.
New York AG Letitia James filed her lawsuit on Thursday. She claims that 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 used the NRA as a ‘personal piggy bank’ for years. . .
The NRA responded angrily.
‘This was a baseless, premeditated attack on our organization and the Second Amendment freedoms it fights to defend.
‘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. (Read more from “The State of New York Sues to Dissolve the NRA” HERE)
Who are the allegedly corrupt leaders of the NRA?
By Joanna Walters. The NRA executive vice-president and chief executive [Wayne LaPierre] has led the group for 39 years. . . Thursday’s lawsuit alleges he “has exploited the organization for his financial benefit … [and] to continue, by use of a secret ‘poison pill contract’, his employment even after removal and ensuring NRA income for life; and to intimidate, punish, and expel anyone at a senior level who raised concerns about his conduct. The effect has been to divert millions of dollars away from the charitable mission.”
He is accused of diverting NRA funds for “trips to the Bahamas to vacation on a yacht owned by the principal of numerous NRA vendors … costly black car services, gifts for favored friends”. . .
[Wilson] Phillips is accused of facilitating millions of dollars in entertainment and travel expenses incurred by NRA executives and being improperly billed to the group and evading IRS requirements.
A report in the New Yorker last year alleged that before working for the NRA, in the early 90s, Phillips was quietly fired by a consultancy firm in Washington DC after a $1m embezzlement. . .
Millions of dollars of NRA funds were misappropriated with [Joshua] Powell’s assistance, the lawsuit says, and he secured contracts that secretly benefited family members. (Read more from the story “New York Sues the NRA” HERE)
Opinion: The NRA’s Leadership is Probably Guilty of Corruption, But the Organization Shouldn’t be Disbanded
By Matt Ford. [New York Attorney General’s] move ignites an existential legal battle for the ailing gun-rights organization that will likely take years to resolve. James’s lawsuit arrives after many years of sustained internal strife within the NRA’s ranks, which pitted LaPierre and his allies against whistleblowers and dissident members who raised concerns about patterns of improper spending. The scandal has sapped the organization’s once-vaunted political strength and drained its coffers; LaPierre reportedly claimed in January that the NRA’s legal struggles had, by that time, cost the organization at least $100 million.
. . . [T]he NRA’s leadership has destabilized the organization more effectively than any state official ever could. In the complaint, which draws heavily from her office’s investigation and from efforts by journalists, James describes a constant stream of unjustified cash and perks that flowed from the NRA’s coffers into the hands of favored members of its upper ranks. LaPierre, who has served as the taciturn and incendiary face of the organization for more than a decade, was the recipient, and often the arbiter, of this largesse. . .
But I can’t bring myself to embrace the notion that a state attorney general—any state attorney general—should be able to disband one of the nation’s most popular political organizations because its leaders misused its members’ donations. If this is the opening bid in an eventual settlement that purges the NRA’s corrupt upper ranks and leaves its ultimate fate to others, however, I would welcome it. (Read more about “New York Sues the NRA” HERE)