New York Attorney General Letitia James took a momentary pause from her tightening civil investigation of ex-prez Donald Trump’s business financials to run a quick victory lap around the National Rifle Association.
James’ office has been suing the NRA since 2020, alleging that the nonprofit gun industry lobbying group, which acts as puppet master for many Congressional conservatives, was having its funds plundered so that CEO Wayne LaPierre and other execs could live high on the hog.
The NRA countersued James, a Democrat, claiming that her investigation and subsequent lawsuit represented a politically motivated abuse of power. Today, a judge gave that claim the heave-ho in a 14-page ruling that at times reads like a rebuke not just of the counterclaim but of the NRA itself.
In fact, the NRA itself recognized many of the same issues about corporate governance underlying the Attorney General’s investigation. Within the NRA, whistleblowers “push[ed] for additional documentation and transparency,” an effort which was “met with resistance from a handful of its executives and vendors”. One executive “was fired by the NRA for many of the same issues alleged in the Complaint,” while the group “became embroiled in litigation” against others who “abused its trust”. And in this action, current NRA members have sought leave to intervene to address “concerns . . . about the NRA’s management by the Individual Defendants and current Board”.
In short, Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Joel M. Cohen wrote that James has every right to continue her investigation and the NRA, which has gone as far as declaring bankruptcy in Texas in an attempt to avoid accountability, can’t do anything about it.
All of which sounds a lot like what Trump’s been hearing in his desperation to shut down James’ civil investigation of his companies. A judge in that case recently ended the accumulation of fines for Trump after James asked he be held in contempt for not responding to a subpoena for documents.
James has been investigating Trump’s financial holdings for evidence that he or other executives for his company cooked the books.