NRA Drops Federal Court Counterclaim Suit, Will Battle New York AG in State Court

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By Michael R. Sisak, AP

The National Rifle Association has dropped a lawsuit accusing New York’s attorney general of suing the gun rights group last year out of political hostility, opting to challenge her through counterclaims in the same court where her case is playing out.

NRA lawyers filed court papers Friday voluntarily dismissing their lawsuit against state Attorney General Letitia James in federal court in Albany.

The NRA’s law firm said in a statement that dropping the lawsuit was a “significant and important” procedural step that will ensure the organization’s claims against James are heard in the same state court in Manhattan that will hear her lawsuit.

“Today’s move will ensure that the NRA’s claims proceed promptly to discovery and a full vindication of its members’ rights,” NRA lawyer William Brewer said.

James sued the NRA in August 2020, seeking to put it out of business over allegations executives diverted tens of millions of dollars for lavish personal trips, no-show contracts for associates and other questionable expenditures.

NRA chief Wayne LaPierre and three others who’ve worked for the organization were also named as defendants in the case, filed in New York state court.

The NRA responded by suing James in federal court, alleging her actions were motivated by hostility toward its political advocacy, including her comments in 2018 that the NRA is a “terrorist organization.”

In January, the NRA declared bankruptcy and sought to move its state of incorporation from New York to Texas, but a judge blocked the move last month, saying the NRA’s bankruptcy was not filed in good faith. In the process, the NRA had made clear it sought to escape regulatory oversight in New York.

The NRA filed a response and counterclaims to James’ lawsuit in state court in February, calling the litigation “a blatant and malicious retaliation campaign against the NRA and its constituents based on her disagreement with the content of their speech.”

James, whose lawsuit is continuing, said in a statement Friday that the NRA’s decision to end its suit against her “is an implicit admission that their strategy would never prevail.”

“The truth is that Wayne LaPierre and his lieutenants used the NRA as a breeding ground for personal gain and a lavish lifestyle,” James said. “We were victorious against the organization’s attempt to declare bankruptcy, and our fight for transparency and accountability will continue because no one is above the law.”

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11 COMMENTS

  1. Brewster was only hired because he was in laws with AMcQ executives. He is prohibited from representing the NRA in Virginia Federal court, where the NRA HQ is. He is WLP’s partner in crime and the “mastermind” behind NRA’s numerous failed legal strategies, like their attempted bankruptcy for debt to a newly created company. The fact the NRA continues to pay Brewster’s exorbitant fees as outside counsel instead of hiring experienced and competent representation is stone cold proof of their misdeeds. He knows where the bodies are buried, and Wayne needs to keep him happy.

  2. wtf.

    Problem is: while this lawsuit is 100% politically motivated, Brewster , WLP, and the rest were self dealing.

    Just fire them all, please.

  3. I got a letter from the NRA last week. I wish now I had not just thrown it away. It would have been better to use their postage free envelope to mail a letter to the board. And tell them to turn themselves into the authorities.

    • When I get those same letters, I write a note back, including my personal cellphone number, that I would like an opportunity to discuss the current situation that the NRA finds itself in… like why ,if “the Premier Defender of America’s Freedom” is in great financial and membership numbers, are they continually soliciting donations from me? I have indicated that I will not donate another dime while WLP and the current inflated board and legal counsel of cronies is at the helm.

      • And they will keep mailing you stuff. You really think they read that stuff? All they do is take the check out and trash everything else without looking at it.

  4. Unless the NRA has other sources of income that I am not aware of there is more than enough proof on forums such as this that contributions are far and few between if any. Frankly the evidence shows NRA Members have been pushed to the sidelines and forgotten because today’s NRA is all about what pleases the suits and pantsuits.
    Nonetheless…If you run on contributions and contributions dry up then you do have a case for bankruptcy. Perhaps NRA assets, inheritances generate moola and if so the disgusting courtroom drama could drag on and on.

  5. Trust me, the NRA’s financial problems have crippled the NRA-ILA and their ability to impact federal, state & local elections. Wayne’s “leadership” is already hurting us big-time.

  6. She doesn’t need mere political animus to sue NRA when they have conveniently provided so much ammunition for her. As a repentant life member I call on the group to voluntarily reorganize and clean its own house before the government does it for them and guts it in the process.

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