NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James today released the following statement after she sought to dismiss counterclaims brought by the National Rifle Association (NRA) that were made in response to a lawsuit Attorney General James filed against the organization last summer:
“The NRA is fraught with fraud and abuse, which is why we filed our lawsuit to remove senior leadership and dissolve the organization. For nearly a year now, the NRA has utilized one tactic after another to delay accountability, but each time the courts have rejected their maneuvers. We are now moving to dismiss the NRA’s counterclaims. Our fight for transparency and accountability will continue undeterred because no one is above the law.”
Last August, Attorney General James filed a lawsuit against the NRA and four of the organization’s current or former top executives for failing to manage the NRA’s funds; failing to follow numerous state and federal laws, as well as the NRA’s own bylaws and policies; and contributing to the loss of more than $64 million in just three years. The suit was filed against the NRA as a whole, as well as Executive Vice-President Wayne LaPierre, former Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer Wilson “Woody” Phillips, former Chief of Staff and Executive Director of General Operations Joshua Powell, and Corporate Secretary and General Counsel John Frazer.
That same day, the NRA filed a countersuit against Attorney General James. Earlier this month, the NRA dropped that countersuit in an implicit admission that their strategy would never prevail.
This past January, in an effort to avoid accountability altogether, the NRA filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy even though the organization still claimed to have healthy financial reserves. Over the course of the bankruptcy trial, LaPierre and other senior leaders admitted that the bankruptcy was simply a way of avoiding New York’s enforcement action, yet still stated that they believed that New York courts and judges could be trusted to fairly and impartially oversee the case. Last month, a federal bankruptcy court in Texas rejected the organization’s claims of bankruptcy after the NRA sought to reorganize in Texas, stating, “that the NRA did not file the bankruptcy petition in good faith.”