The National Rifle Association has filed its own lawsuit after New York’s attorney general sued the group for fraud, hoping to put it out of business. The pro-gun org says the AG’s case is politically motivated and frivolous.
Responding to a suit brought by New York state Attorney General Letitia James on Thursday – which accused top executives in the pro-Second Amendment group of misusing funds – the NRA filed a federal countersuit claiming James’ case is based on a “rank political vendetta,” rather than any “sincere belief” that the organization broke the law.
“This was a baseless, premeditated attack on our organization and the Second Amendment freedoms it fights to defend,” NRA president Carolyn Meadows said in a tweet. “Our members won’t be intimidated or bullied in their defense of political and constitutional freedom.”
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.
(2/3)…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. This has been a power grab by a political opportunist – a desperate move that is part of a rank political vendetta.
— NRA (@NRA) August 6, 2020
Obtained by both the Daily Caller and Fox News on Thursday, the NRA’s 19-page civil complaint also alleges James had defamed the org and violated its rights to free speech. The former allegation reportedly stems from the AG’s labeling of the group as a “terrorist organization” and “criminal enterprise,” while the NRA also says it was targeted over “constitutionally protected speech on issues that James opposes.”
The New York Democratic Party political machine seeks to harass, defund, and dismantle the NRA because of what it believes and what it says.
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The suit makes mention of James’ predecessor in the New York AG’s office, Eric Schneiderman, who is said to have warned the group that “key Democratic actors” were pressuring him to “pursue the NRA for purely political purposes.”
“In a telephone call to Tom King, an NRA director, in late 2017, Schneiderman emphasized that while he opposed the NRA’s positions on the Second Amendment, he felt troubled by recent, extraordinary pressures being placed on his office by powerful political interests,” the lawsuit reads, adding elsewhere that the group “has not been treated fairly” by James’ office, despite cooperating with its investigation.
The AG’s suit – which explicitly stated that it sought to disband the NRA outright – accused the group of diverting some $64 million in charitable funds into personal expenses for senior leadership, including NRA chief executive Wayne LaPierre. He and three other defendants are said to have spent group dollars on costly private air travel, as well as lavish meals and vacations, among other things. The group has rejected James’ allegations and denied any wrongdoing.
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