New York Attorney General Letitia James has launched an investigation into the National Rifle Association as it struggles with mounting internal tensions and alleged corruption.
“The Office of New York State Attorney General Letitia James has launched an investigation related to the National Rifle Association,” James’ office told several news outlets. “As part of this investigation, the Attorney General has issued subpoenas.”
NPR first reported the investigation Saturday. An outside lawyer for the NRA told NPR and other outlets: “The NRA will fully cooperate with any inquiry into its finances … The NRA is prepared for this, and has full confidence in its accounting practices and commitment to good governance.”
The New York Times, citing unnamed people with knowledge of the investigation, reported that “some of the NRA’s related businesses also received subpoenas,” and that document preservation letters were sent to the NRA “and affiliated entities” including its charitable arm, the NRA Foundation.
The investigation comes as the NRA’s internal troubles have become increasingly public.
On Saturday, board member Oliver North (above, right) announced that he’d been informed he wouldn’t be renominated to serve a second one-year term as president of the organization. Executive vice president Wayne LaPierre (above, left) on Friday alleged that North had extorted him.
The group’s top lawyer, Steve Hart, was suspended Saturday before North’s announcement, the Daily Beast reported.
The NRA also recently sued a longtime advertiser, Ackerman McQueen, alleging that the firm was withholding documents and may be overcharging for its services. A subsequent New Yorker report detailed layers of alleged pocket-stuffing at the NRA and Ackerman McQueen.
“It’s not clear what we’re paying for, it’s not clear what we’re accountable to, we don’t have standards, and this needs to change,” gun rights advocate Jeff Knox told TPM recently.