It was mentioned in Slog AM, but whoa, this is such big news it deserves its own post. Washington Post:
The chief executive of the National Rifle Association and several top lieutenants engaged in a decades-long pattern of fraud to raid the coffers of the powerful gun rights group for personal gain, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday by the New York attorney general, draining $64 million from the nonprofit in just three years.
That chief executive is Wayne LaPierre, who's been the head of the NRA for 39 years. New York's attorney general is asking "a New York court to force LaPierre and three key deputies to repay NRA members for the ill-gotten funds and inflated salaries that her investigation found they took." She's also calling for LaPierre to be removed from his position, and for the NRA to be dissolved entirely.
Additionally, she's requesting that "the court bar the four men — LaPierre, general counsel John Frazer, former treasurer Woody Phillips and former chief of staff Joshua Powell — from ever serving in a leadership position for a New York charity in the future."
The Washington Post has done excellent reporting on the NRA for years, including this 2019 report on lavish spending within the organization.
They also reported on "internal strife and external pressure" at the NRA in April 2019 after then-president Oliver North called out LaPierre alleging shady financial practices.
Further complicating internal conflicts, the NRA was going through a messy breakup with the firm in charge of the organization's image and messaging.
And that's not even touching on whatever the NRA's relationship to Russia is.
As for New York's attorney general, her name is Letitia James, and she's a former public defender who's represented countless people in the criminal justice system. She's also a former city council member representing Brooklyn.
In an interview with Ebony in 2018, when she was running for state attorney general, she reflected:
I stand on the shoulders of giants … I don’t take this for granted and I don’t take this lightly. I also know a lot of people with large titles who have done absolutely nothing. For me, the question is and has always been, “When you are blessed and elevated to this position, what are you going to do to improve the lives of others?” That is what I’m focused on.
James won that 2018 election to the office of attorney general by a mile, and in doing so became the first Black woman to hold statewide elected office in New York.
You can read her lawsuit against the NRA right here. It is 169 pages long.
You can also read a more concise summary of the important points here.
For an even more concise summary, attorney general James started a thread this morning on Twitter. Click on this tweet and you will see several other tweets below it, outlining the basics:
#BREAKING: I filed a lawsuit to dissolve the National Rifle Association for years of self-dealing and illegal conduct.
The @NRA is fraught with fraud and abuse.
No organization is above the law.
— NY AG James (@NewYorkStateAG) August 6, 2020
In conclusion, James says: "No one is above the law, not even the NRA, one of the most powerful organizations in this country."