NY Supreme Court allows NRA investigation to continue

The Supreme Court of New York is allowing the lawsuit brought by Attorney General Letitia James (D) against the National Rifle Association (NRA) to proceed, ABC News reports

The court issued its decision on Friday, ruling that James’s lawsuit is no mere “witch hunt,” as the NRA had argued.

Background

This particular lawsuit has been ongoing for almost two years now. Reuters reports:

James, a Democrat, sued the NRA in August 2020, accusing it of diverting millions of dollars to fund luxuries for officials like longtime Chief Executive Wayne LaPierre, using no-show contracts for associates and making other questionable expenses.

As the attorney general of New York, James does have oversight of nonprofit organizations that are incorporated in New York, as the NRA was.

James was hoping, with this lawsuit, to dissolve the NRA, but Manhattan Judge Joel M. Cohen put a stop to that effort back in March. Still, though, Cohen has allowed James to pursue other remedies, such as fines, should she prove her case.

The latest

Last year, the NRA accused James of targeting it because of its views. The NRA even accused James of waging “a blatant and malicious retaliation campaign” against it.

Accordingly, the NRA attempted to get James’ lawsuit thrown out. It is this motion that Cohen, this week, issued a ruling on, and, in short, Cohen rejected the NRA’s arguments.

“The narrative that the attorney general’s investigation into these undeniably serious matters was nothing more than a politically motivated — and unconstitutional — witch hunt is simply not supported by the record,” Cohen wrote in his decision.

Reactions

James has applauded Cohen’s decision, saying in a statement that it “reaffirmed the legitimacy and viability of my office’s lawsuit against the NRA for its years of fraud, abuse, and greed.”

The NRA, however, offered a different take, maintaining that James’s lawsuit is politically motivated.

“The NRA believes the NYAG’s pursuit was fueled by her opposition to the association and its First Amendment activities in support of the Second Amendment,” NRA lawyer William A. Brewer III  said.

Brewer also said that, despite Cohen’s ruling, the NRA is prepared to launch a vigorous defense against James’s accusations.

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