New York Attorney General Letitia James said Thursday night on MSNBC that “it was the diversion of millions, upon millions of dollars” by the National Rifle Association (NRA) that led her to file a lawsuit Thursday seeking to dissolve the organization, refuting the NRA’s claim that the lawsuit was politically motivated.
“It was the diversion of millions, upon millions of dollars from the charitable mission of the NRA,” James told MSNBC commentator Rachel Maddow when asked why she sought to dissolve the organization. “It was this culture of misappropriation, this culture where individuals were using the NRA as their personal piggy bank.” (RELATED: Trump Suggests NRA Relocate To Texas After New York AG Files Lawsuit Against Them)
She said that several executives, along with the NRA’s board of directors, “turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to all that was happening.”
The attorney general’s lawsuit alleges that the group’s CEO and Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre, former CFO Woody Phillips, former chief of staff Joshua Powell, and general counsel John Frazer are all guilty of financial misconduct, which cost the organization over $64 million in a 3-year period.
The NRA denied all allegations of misconduct and filed a lawsuit against the attorney general Thursday afternoon. Their complaint alleges that James’ original lawsuit was politically motivated. (RELATED: NRA Announces Lawsuit Against New York Attorney General)
The organization also claimed that former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman called NRA director Tom King in 2017 to warn him that “key Democratic actors” were putting “extraordinary pressures” on his office to attack the NRA. King said in a statement that he “was told Cuomo would use every resource to pursue his lifelong dream of defeating the NRA, and an ‘investigation’ of our Association was on the horizon.”
“Mr. Wayne LaPierre and the NRA would seek to engage in personal attacks as opposed to dealing with our complaint and the facts that we lay there,” James said on MSNBC.